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house Bill H. Con. Res. 77

Should the President be Directed to Remove All U.S. Armed Forces From Syria?

Argument in favor

The U.S. originally planned to withdraw all its military forces in Syria to end what President Trump termed an “endless” war that didn’t involve the U.S. there, but wound up partially reversing its decision when President Trump decided to leave some U.S. forces in the country to defend the oil fields. Congress needs to exercise its Constitutional mandate and bring U.S. troops home from Syria by requiring the president to withdraw all U.S. forces from the country.

Jeanne's Opinion
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12/09/2019
Bring our soldier's home. They have all been under the command of the Prince of Saudi Arabia, murderous asshole of an American journalist Jamal?. and then had his body dismembered and burnt for speaking the truth. It was more important for Trump to keep his fellow rich people in good standing than condemn what they did.
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Donald's Opinion
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12/09/2019
Since it appears that the only reason for US troops being in Syria presently is to keep Russia or Iran from making a buck off the oil fields. I don't think we need Syria's oil as we can always go to Trump's buddies in Saudi Arabia if we get in a bind.The withdrawal was not made for military reasons, and I see no military reason for those remaining in Syria to remain any longer. Of course I ignore the ego fulfilling of our President.
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Roy's Opinion
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12/09/2019
It's not our country!!! Fix our borders first...
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Argument opposed

After 9/11, Congress authorized operations against al-Qaeda and “associated forces,” which has been used to justify armed intervention across the Middle East — under this interpretation, the war in Syria is Congressionally authorized. Specifically in the case of the Syrian oil fields, there’s a case to be made for the need to protect the fields and ensure they don’t fall into the hands of the Assad regime and its Russian allies.

A david's Opinion
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12/08/2019
No, we should be protecting our Kurdish Allies, not letting Turkey finish killing them.
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Charles's Opinion
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12/10/2019
Our Troops need to go back to help the KURDS!
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Curt's Opinion
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12/09/2019
PRESIDENT TRUMP IS already doing this. He doesn't need help from a socialist demoncrat bill!
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What is House Bill H. Con. Res. 77?

This concurrent resolution would direct President Donald Trump to remove all U.S. armed forces from hostilities in Syria that haven’t been authorized by Congress. This would effectively end the U.S. military’s involvement in Syria, as there’s no congressional authorization for this war (current actions are being justified using the post-9/11 counterterrorism authorization for use of military force).

As a concurrent resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance to the president’s desk if it’s agreed to by Congress.

Impact

The president; U.S. armed forces in Syria; the Middle East; and Syria.

Cost of House Bill H. Con. Res. 77

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced this resolution to require the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria who are currently based there at President Trump’s directive to secure Syrian oil fields, but without a specific congressional authorization: 

“Our troops put their lives on the line to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and ensure the safety and security of the American people. President Trump’s deployment of US troops to secure Syrian oil fields that do not belong to us, with talks of welcoming in private oil corporations to take the oil, is unconstitutional and a violation of International Law. Syria’s natural resources belong to the Syrian people. Congress must fulfill its Constitutional mandate and vote for this resolution to bring our troops home from Syria.”

Demand Justice and Just Foreign Policy support this resolution. Just Foreign Policy’s executive director, Erik Sperlng, says: 

“Congress has not authorized troops to ‘secure oil’ in Syria or to participate in hostilities against the governments of Russia, Iran, or Syria. Under Article I of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the President cannot deploy troops into hostilities without prior Congressional authorization. I commend Rep. Gabbard for introducing this resolution which will compel all members of the House to vote yes or no on endless war in front of their constituents.”

Rear Admiral William Byrne, the vice director of the joint staff, told reporters in November 2019 that the U.S. mission in Syria was unchanged after the troop drawdown and shift to protecting the oil fields. Byrne said that U.S. troops remained in Syria solely to defeat ISIS in partnership with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF): 

“The securing of the oil fields is a subordinate task to that mission. And the purpose of that task is to deny ISIS, the revenues from that oil, infrastructure. I’m not sure ISIS is going away yet. And that’s why we’re there: to help them go away… We’re still going to provide [the SDF] with the support and ability to ... continue the fight against ISIS.” 

Nicolas Heras, an analyst on the CNAS Middle East program, says that keeping Syrian oil out of the hands of the Assad regime and its Russian backers is important. He argues that with winter coming, and the regime increasingly desperate for energy supplies, control of the oil supply maintains some leverage in the region.

This resolution passed the House by unanimous vote as part of H.Res.739, sponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO).


Of Note: In late 2019, President Trump announced the removal of U.S. troops from northern Syria and their imminent transfer to other parts of Syria and Iraq. In his decision, President Trump contended that the fighting in Syria had “nothing to do” with the U.S. 

The decision to withdraw U.S. troops opened the door for Turkey to invade Syria and commence ethnic cleansing of Syrian Kurds, who have been trusted partners in the fight to defeat ISIS. According to The Atlantic’s Uri Friedman, the immediate aftermath of the withdrawal was deadly: 

“In just over a week, the violence left hundreds of Kurdish fighters and civilians dead; more than 100,000 people displaced; the near defeat of the Islamic State in jeopardy; and Turkey, Russia, and the Iranian-backed Syrian government carving up territory vacated by the Kurds and the Americans.”

French president Emmanuel Macron criticized Trump’s decision in an interview with The Economist. He argued that when Trump tells him and other European leaders, “It’s your neighborhood, not mine’ … we must hear what he’s saying,” which is, essentially, “‘I am no longer prepared to pay for and guarantee a security system for them,’ and so just ‘wake up.’”

However, Trump’s troop withdrawal wasn’t complete, as he ultimately changed his mind on a complete evacuation of U.S. troops and said some forces would remain, but only to “secure the oil.” In comments on November 1, 2019, Trump said, “We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re keeping the oil. I like oil. We’re keeping the oil.” Trump also suggested that taking control of Syrian natural resources would be fair “reimbursement” for the cost of going to war in the country. 

Earlier, at a gathering of Chicago police officers in late October, Trump said, “We’re keeping the oil — remember that. I’ve always said that: ‘Keep the oil.’ We want to keep the oil. Forty-five million dollars a month? Keep the oil.”

Consequently, according to The Guardian, “hundreds of soldiers” headed for small-scale oil patches Der Ezzor and Hasakah provinces even as hundreds of U.S. special forces were being flown out of the country. 

U.S. officials’ unease about the policy was revealed in leaked internal documents. In an internal report obtained by the New York Times, the top U.S. diplomat in northern Syria, William Roebuck, complained that “we didn’t try” to deter the Turkish incursion that had killed thousands of civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Jorge Villalba)

AKA

Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Syrian Arab Republic that have not been authorized by Congress.

Official Title

Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Syrian Arab Republic that have not been authorized by Congress.

concurrent resolution Progress


  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedNovember 21st, 2019
    No, we should be protecting our Kurdish Allies, not letting Turkey finish killing them.
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    Bring our soldier's home. They have all been under the command of the Prince of Saudi Arabia, murderous asshole of an American journalist Jamal?. and then had his body dismembered and burnt for speaking the truth. It was more important for Trump to keep his fellow rich people in good standing than condemn what they did.
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    Why waste lives in a conflict we have little stake in.
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    Our Troops need to go back to help the KURDS!
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    PRESIDENT TRUMP IS already doing this. He doesn't need help from a socialist demoncrat bill!
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    Since it appears that the only reason for US troops being in Syria presently is to keep Russia or Iran from making a buck off the oil fields. I don't think we need Syria's oil as we can always go to Trump's buddies in Saudi Arabia if we get in a bind.The withdrawal was not made for military reasons, and I see no military reason for those remaining in Syria to remain any longer. Of course I ignore the ego fulfilling of our President.
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    Neither the President nor Congress has shown any capacity for making a sound decision about Syria. The Congress woman that puts forward this Bill has a questionable interest in the players involved. She has personally visited Assad and developed a peculiar affinity for his point of view. Congress in general has failed to take a stand one way or the other. When Obama drew his red line in the sand the Republican Congress refused to support any action and when Trump fired a few missiles into Syria, after fore warning Assad, considered him some kind of hero. But again Congress has failed to authorize war although the issue has been brooch many times. The Presidents have been allowed to continue the conflict under the War Powers Act. Do we need get out of Syria: YES. At the same time we need to remember that we have already lost all moral authority to stay in Syria when Trump ordered the abandonment of the Kurdish people. We need to recognize that this is this Administrations Vietnam. We abandoned our allies. At least when we left Vietnam we brought as many as we could home with us.
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    It's not our country!!! Fix our borders first...
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    A very difficult situation, from the amount of information I know. The U.S. has no business keeping troops in Syria, but since our government has caused a lot of the problems, the Kurds are now left to deal alone. This is something an ordinary citizen is not able to call. The only thing I can say for sure is that it should have been left alone in the beginning.
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    We do need to protect the oil fields, from the likes of Assad and Iran.
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    No, we need to support all of our allies including the Kurds. Removing our military forces from Syria will only cause another humanitarian disaster,
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    Our government is set up so that the President decides those things. It is not the place for the congress to force the President to do any given thing. The assumption in the way this leading question is phrased is that the congress is above the President and it is not. That is what gripes the liberals so. They want to run things as if we were an oligarchy and the President is merely a figure head to do their bidding. That is communism. We are a republic, where the President is independent from the congress in everything but two areas. The budget and impeachment. Barring those two things, the congress can't order the President (who is co-equal to all of congress and co-equal with the Supreme Court) to do anything. They can indirectly influence him by taking away funding for a given situation, like Syria but they do not have any form of direct control. Thus, you see the foolishness, the arrogance and the drive of the President's enemies to harm him in any way possible. That includes making up questions like this to unduly stir up people, who are blind to what they are doing, in a way that disrupts the citizenry to demand he do or not do given things. This is an example of white mutiny against our government and its leader. That is treasonous and disloyal to our nation and to our way of life.
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    Wait just one minute! Didn't Trump already say he was pulling all American troops out of Syria??? Of course, he said that. And in fact he abandoned some of our best allies the Kurds to flee or die at the hands of Trump's friends the Turks. And of course, we didn't actually withdraw completely because Trump wants the oil. Damn the greedy bastard...
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    Congress declares war, not the president!
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    as long as US forces are not involved directly in combat forces it does not seem to be a problem having them stationed in the region or in Syria. We need to support our interest in the area and continue supporting Isreal when we are able without being drawn into the conflict directly. We need to be sure that or interest are upheld since we have allowed ourselves to be drawn into this conflict and there are people that support our interest and may make the region safer and more prone to our ways of thinking. It may also bring the middle east in to advancing themselves into modern nations and economy rather than kept back buy rulers whos interest are to keep them for wars that interest the ruling class.
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    Stand with the Kurds
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    What is our purpose in Syria? Are we trying to fight Assad? Kill the terrorists? Handle both of them while backing the militant Kurds? What do we do neocons?
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    Let Syria and their buddy Russia deal with Isis and protect their own oil fields. The U.S. Gets no Huntington being in a count that does not support us.
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    The president, probably by suggestion of Putin, betrayed our Kurdish allies and literally turned over control of a strategic area to the our enemy the Russians. He sullied our good name; who would trust us now? And shamed our troops. We should reclaim our bases and tell Russia to get the hell out of Syria and the Ukraine!
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    Can not trust congress.. first term limits then maybe
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