Robert McCartney’s Sept 8. Metro column, “Van Hollen: Syria must not escape punishment,” did not address an obvious follow-up question. In the event of a missile strike on Syria, retaliation from that country or its allies can be expected. How would the United States respond to such retaliation: not at all, only within a 60-day time limit, or at any time, anywhere?

If the time limit proves to be flexible, we could be sliding into a wider, extended conflict. This issue should not be ducked by the administration or Congress.

Diane and John Karlik, Bethesda