Where do Virginia’s leaders stand on military action in Syria?

Posted at 8:40 PM, Sep 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-04 20:43:35-04

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- As Congress weighs the decision of whether or not to give President Barack Obama the authority to intervene in Syria, where do Virginia's leaders stand on the issue?

Of the 13 Virginians who represent the Commonwealth in the United States Congress, only two -- Senator Tim Kaine and Republican Eric Cantor - are yes votes as of Wednesday.

Thus far, Congressmen Wolfe, Forbes, and Rigell have indicated they will vote no.

The remaining politicians remain undecided - including Democrat Bobby Scott whose office told CBS 6 that he is still weighing his decision.

"We are going to have to make sure that information is made available to members," Rep. Eric Cantor told CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George.

Cantor said that he came to his decision after concluding chemical weapons were used in Syria and that national security interests of the United States have been impacted.

As for whether or not he would support the President using force if Congress fails to give authorization, Cantor said that Congressional action "should speak for itself" and that reporters "should ask the President."

Professor Stephen Long, an international security expert who teaches at the University of Richmond, said leaders have the right to be skeptical.

Long argues Syria is so divided that its civil war is being fought neighborhood by neighborhood and that an air assault, as what has been described by President Obama, would be ineffective.

"Using air power on a situation like that is very much like using a sledge hammer to solve a rubic cube puzzle," Long said.

Senator Tim Kaine is expected to address the issue of Syria on Thursday at Virginia State University.