Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright has added her voice to the debate on Syria, urging Congress to grant President Obama the authority to conduct limited military strikes in retaliation for chemical weapons attacks.
The "risks of complacency and inaction far outweigh those of the limited, but purposeful, response now contemplated," Albright said in a statement. "The dangers of this world will only deepen if aggressors believe that global norms have no meaning and that gross violations can be carried out with impunity."
Albright, 76, served as the United States' top diplomat from 1997-2001 in the Clinton administration, during a time when the U.S. and NATO used punishing airstrikes to help turn the tide of civil strife in Kosovo.
She issued her statement hours after Obama laid out his case for action during a news conference in St. Petersburg, where he had been attending the G-20 economic summit.
Obama administration officials are briefing Congress, whose members are largely opposed to U.S. military engagement in Syria, despite evidence that President Bashar al-Assad's regime apparently used chemical weapons to kill hundreds of people.
"Assad has gambled that he can get away with slaughtering his own people by barbaric means; that is a gamble he cannot be allowed to win," Albright said in the statement released by her consulting company.