President Barack Obama went line-by-line Tuesday night, responding to every argument he has heard against a military strike in Syria, as he spoke to the world in a speech from the East Room of the White House.
The president stressed that the military action would not include a prolonged air campaign, as the conflicts in Kosovo and Libya did, nor troops on the ground, as with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"After careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike. The purpose of this strike would be to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, to degrade his regime's ability to use them, and to make it clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use. That's my judgement as commander-in-chief," said Obama.
Immediately after such strikes, President Obama says he would redouble efforts for a political solution to Syria's civil war.
The strikes will have to wait, though, as the president says he has asked Congress to postpone a vote on his proposal, as his administration pursues a new diplomatic initiative.
That initiative -- stemming from a seemingly off-the-cuff remark from his secretary of state -- has Russia and Syria seeking a way to turn over Assad's chemical weapons to the international community to avoid potential U.S. military strikes.