President Donald Trump's decision to order airstrikes against three Syrian chemical weapons facilities, and the execution of those strikes, was done "correctly, appropriately and proportionately," but a debate is due in Congress and among the American people about the current authorization for the use of military force, Rep. Lee Zeldin said Saturday.
"There is an appropriate debate to be had as far as updating it and what the future should look like, so I would welcome that debate in Congress," the New York Republican, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, told Fox News' Neil Cavuto."But make no mistake the president's decision and the execution last night, it was absolutely spot on correct and I support it."
Meanwhile, Trump has come under some fire for the attack, and while Zeldin said there are some who will oppose Trump no matter what, other who have spoken out such as Sen. Rand Paul are being "very thoughtful as it relates to the Constitution."
"They want to be beyond just having a good line of communication with the administration," he said. "They know the debate needs to be had and everything should be deliberate so there, that's a little bit less out to get the president of a mentality."
Trump tweeted on Saturday that with the Syrian attack, the words "mission accomplished were used."
"The mission to degrade the capability of the Syrians to conduct chemical warfare, that particular mission last night was accomplished," said Zeldin. "The mission was not to completely eliminate the chemical weapons program of Syria. It was not a mission to replace the Assad regime. It wasn't to inject ourselves in Syrian civil war."
The mission on Friday doubled the amount of missiles from one year ago, when another chemical attack had been carried out, and "collateral damage," said Zeldin. "We conducted a proportionality test to make sure that the military advantage that was to be gained outweighed any type of collateral damage that may have happened but we still have not heard of any civilian deaths as a result."
The term "mission accomplished" had been used in 2003 by then-President George W. Bush when it was widely criticized as giving a false sense of security that hostilities were almost over.
"I think we need to understand what the definition of mission was, that the president was saying was accomplished, and the mission for last night's operation was one to degrade the chemical weapons capability of the Syrians," said Zeldin. "That mission was accomplished. We should not define mission more broadly, more permanently. We should not define it as one that was destroying Syrian's capability or replacing [President Bashar] Assad or permanently changing his behavior, or the Russians and the Iranians. If we go much broader in our definition than what was the actual mission of the operation last night, we would be wrongly interpreting what the president tweeted."
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