Barack Obama addressed the nation from the White House on Sept. 9 to explain his decision concerning the use of negotiations or a military strike against Assad’s regime in Syria.
After Russian diplomacy with Syria created an option for removing Assad’s chemical weapons, Obama asked Congress to postpone voting on a limited strike until this option has been worked out.
“This initiative has the potential to remove chemical weapons without the use of force,” said Obama in an address broadcast from the White House. He mentioned letters he has received that reflect the public’s fear of starting another long war. “I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan,” Obama said.
Obama still stood firm on his position toward intervening in Syria through a strike if it proves necessary. The president strengthened his argument for a “limited” strike, saying, “I will not put American troops on the ground in Syria.”
The current Senate resolution ambiguously limits any “boots on the ground” combat operations. This language was broad enough to allow troops in Syria for humanitarian purposes, but Obama’s statements seemed to cancel that option.
The administration was considering sending troops to neighboring countries like Jordan and Lebanon to help train Syrian rebels, according to an Associated Press report Sept. 5. Obama did not discount this option during his address.