Fletcher in the News

Professor Martel on the Likelihood of U.S. Military Action in Syria, Regardless of Congressional Support

William C. Martel is Associate Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

The president said he's lending an ear to some in Congress who suggest giving Syria 45 days to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, get rid of its chemical stockpiles and take steps to increase accountability.

"I am listening to all these ideas, and some of them are constructive," Obama said.

But his tough talk on Syria has been so strong that if Congress rejects his proposal, he still is likely to move forward without its approval, said one local expert.

"The failure to act now would have grievous consequences to his credibility and the credibility of the country," said William Martel, associate professor of international studies at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. "The president came out and said initially he has the authority to use military force on his own. He hasn't reneged on that statement."

Obama refused to say yesterday whether he might take military action without Congress' approval. The president will plead his case to the world during a prime-time speech Tuesday on why military muscle is a must against Syria.


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