The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

September 9, 2013

Walz says he opposes unilateral military action in Syria

Congressman Tim Walz said Monday that he doesn't support a unilateral military strike in Syria.

"While I believe the use of chemical weapons is despicable and the world must take action to ensure that cruel dictators are not allowed to use such weapons without repercussions, at this time I cannot in good conscience support current proposals to take unilateral, military action," he said in a news release issued Monday afternoon.

The Mankato Democrat held a listening session Friday in St. Peter attended by about 150 people.

Their message, Walz said, has been "clear and consistent: oppose, unilateral U.S. military intervention."

Though he said he was still undecided after the Friday event, it was clear which way he was leaning. He said at the time that he was already skeptical that strikes would be a good choice, and left even more skeptical.

In the release, Walz cited his "skepticism that even limited military action would stay limited due to unforeseen consequences and his concern that it could result in American boots on the ground with no defined strategy to bring them home."

Walz also commended the president for seeking Congress' approval before launching a strike.

"After 12 years of war, the American public has every right to weigh in and expect that their views be represented in Congress."

According to a CNN tally of where House members stand on Syria, 25 representatives support the strikes, 152 oppose them, 248 are undecided and eight are unknown. Among Minnesota's eight representatives, Walz joins four other "no" voters. Only Rep. Keith Ellison supports the strikes.

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