There are no good answers for answering to the "total mess" left behind in Syria after eight years of inaction, but President Donald Trump should make the case to Congress if he is considering further military action, Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday.
"Syria is a humanitarian disaster," Cruz told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "It is a total mess. The honest answer is there is no good answer to Syria right now, after eight years of (former President Barack) Obama's broken red lines and weakness.
"We've seen Syria turned into a war zone that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees, of chemical weapons - it is a bad situation," he said.
But at the same time, Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war, said Cruz, and he is looking forward to Trump making his case to Congress and the American people concerning further military action, as it "would be a mistake" not to do that.
"It's the commander-in-chief's prerogative to defend this nation and Congress has the authority to make declarations of war," the Texas Republican said.
Cruz was asked if Trump had the constitutional power to make the decision to strike Syria without consulting Congress.
"It's long been recognized that the commander-in-chief can respond to exigent circumstances, can respond to an immediate threats," Cruz said. "There is a difference between a single strike in an exigent circumstance versus engaging in prolonged military conflict."
In addition, moving forward can invite conflicts with other nations, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are the "puppets of Russia and Iran," said Cruz.
"Bashar al-Assad is a monster," said Cruz. "He has used chemical weapons to murder innocent men, women and children. It would be even worse if those chemical weapons fall into the hands of radical Islamic terrorists."
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other "bad actors across the globe" only respect strength, said Cruz.
"With eight years of Barack Obama as president, what we saw was a weak president whose word did not mean anything," the senator said. "Our friends did not trust us, and our enemies did not fear us."
Cruz said he has been encouraged during Trump's first months in office when it comes to foreign policy and national security as he has assembled an "excellent team," including Defense Secretary James Mattis, "a legendary war fighter, and Gen. H.R. McMaster, a "very well-respected strategist" as national security adviser.
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