US Going Solo? Britain Rejects Force in Syria

NYT says Obama prepared to act alone

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 29, 2013 4:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – If the US intends to move forward with a military strike against Syria, it will have to do so without its usual partner: The British Parliament today rejected any use of force, a vote that the AP describes as a "stunning defeat" for Prime Minister David Cameron. The vote may not deter the White House, however: The New York Times says President Obama is prepared to act alone, even if he lacks the support of the UN Security Council and the US Congress as well. The White House, which continues to stress that no decision has been made, is set to make its case for potential military action to Congress tonight.

The British vote surely stings in the West Wing. The Guardian notes that Britain has joined the US "in every significant military outing" since the 1989 Panama invasion. Today's vote was technically nonbinding, but the Wall Street Journal says it makes it all but impossible for Cameron to authorize any military action. Afterward, he issued a brief statement saying that while he thinks Syria deserves a "tough response," he would respect the will of parliament.

Britain Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a debate on Syria Thursday.
Britain Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a debate on Syria Thursday.   (PA)
People take part in a protest calling for no military attack on Syria from the U.S., Britain or France, outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
People take part in a protest calling for no military attack on Syria from the U.S., Britain or France, outside the Houses of Parliament in London.   (Matt Dunham)
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