Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich urged Congress Tuesday to “vote no” on a military strike against Syria and instead begin debate on what he described as even bigger strategic challenges for the United States and the world.
“The most powerful nation in the world does not need a three- or four-week debate about a limited, symbolic, tactical use of power,” the Georgia Republican wrote Tuesday in an opinion piece for CNN, as he urged Congress to “vote no on a meaningless public relations use of military force against [Syrian President Bashar Assad].
“What we do need are three debates about very large strategic challenges,” he added, referring to Iran’s nuclear program, the spread of radical Islamism, and the vulnerabilities in the U.S. military being created by “budgetary drawdowns.”
“Each of these challenges is massively bigger and vastly more important to our survival than the symbolic Syrian attack,” Gingrich said.
The former 2012 GOP presidential candidate, now a co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire,” said that “launching a few missiles at Syria” as a tactical action “will not change history.” But he insisted that refusing to address the three challenges he laid out would have much larger repercussions.
Citing what he said were 12 years of doing nothing to address Iran’s nuclear development efforts under both Presidents Obama and Republican George W. Bush, Gingrich said the time has finally come for “a national debate about stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”