Pelosi tells colleagues military action in Syria is ‘in our national interest’

September 3, 2013

Taking military action against the Syrian government is in the "national interest" of the United States, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote Tuesday in a letter to her House colleagues.

Pelosi said that evidence Syria used chemical weapons against its people is "clear, convincing, and devastating" and that taking action against its government is "a matter of national, regional, and global security."

When Congress returns from its recess next week, it will confront a "serious and necessary debate" over whether to authorize a military strike against the Syrian government, Pelosi wrote.

The Democratic leader emerged from a morning meeting with President Obama and other congressional leaders resolved to support Obama's call for a military strike against Syria.

“From a national security standpoint, we have to send a very clear message to those who have weapons of mass destruction of any variety that they should forget about using them,” she said Tuesday morning.

Below is Pelosi's full letter:

Dear Colleague,

The return of Congress next week will bring a serious and necessary debate on a resolution authorizing the limited and proportional use of force against the Syrian regime.

At this critical juncture, it is essential that we make all Americans – the men and women we represent – fully aware of what the intelligence clearly and unequivocally demonstrates: that the Assad regime was responsible for chemical weapons attacks against innocent Syrians, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 people, including hundreds of children.

The evidence of these attacks is clear, convincing, and devastating. The American public must hear more of the intelligence and information available to our nation’s leaders that led President Obama and his Administration to call for such action.

It is in our national interest to respond to the Syrian government’s unspeakable use of chemical weapons. Indeed, it has been, and remains, a core pillar of our national security – under Democratic and Republican administrations – to prevent, limit, and halt the spread and use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. This is a matter of national, regional, and global security.

We appreciate President Obama’s decision to consult Congress, to keep Members informed of the intelligence through the briefings and calls taking place with our Caucus, and to submit to Congress a resolution on the use of military force. The shape and content of the final resolution will depend on what Members can support.

We look forward to hearing any comments and questions you may have as we carefully discuss how to proceed and what steps to take. I appreciate those who have already offered their thoughts, comments, and opinions, and I look forward to working together on this challenge in the coming days. For many, ignoring Bashar Al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons is a luxury humanity simply cannot afford.

best regards,

NANCY PELOSI
Democratic Leader

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · September 3, 2013