In the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote taken Wednesday, Congress approved Obama’s plan to combat ISIS by training Syrian rebels. The House was split 273 in favor and 156 in opposition of the amendment.
Though the plan is now approved, exactly what it will look like in action is unsure. President Obama has made it very clear that he does not want to deploy any American troops on the ground during this mission.
Obama first promised to train and arm the Free Syrian Army (FSA) a year ago, but that effort was half-hearted and not necessarily followed through.
“There will be no U.S. military personnel in Syria as part of this program,” he said Wednesday in a speech after the vote. “We’ve learned over the last decade, and through our successful campaign to degrade al-Qaeda, that it is more effective to use America’s unique capabilities to take out terrorist targets in support of our partners’ efforts on the ground to secure their own future.”
This plan to support Syrian rebels is met with hesitation for several reasons. First, Congress is hesitant to enter into another war in the Middle East. Some lawmakers are convinced that more military force will not do any good to stop the threat, and others, like Representative James P. Morgan (D-Va.), said Obama’s plan is “the best choice of worse options.”
While no one wants to begin a war, the majority of Congress members believe ISIS is a big enough threat to warrant some action. The best place to start is with our key allies, such as FSA, who are already on the ground running.