- Newt Gingrich: Obama right to seek Congress OK on Syria, but it's not his real problem
- He says Washington avoiding three real strategic challenges. The first: Iran and nukes
- Second: Radical Islam grows unabated and is a bigger threat than Syria, he says
- Third: Military cuts threaten U.S. security, Gingrich says
Editor's note: Newt Gingrich is the new co-cost of CNN's "Crossfire," which makes its debut on Monday, September 9.
(CNN) -- President Barack Obama did the right thing in going to Congress for a debate and a vote on a proposed national security action.
He could have followed precedent set by presidents of both parties and launched missiles under his powers as commander in chief. In an America tired by 12 years of continuous warfare (the longest in our history), however, it was wise to engage the American people through their elected representatives in the Congress.
Unfortunately the president picked the wrong topic on which to have a national debate. Launching a few missiles at Syria is a tactical action that will not change history. Obama has already pledged that he is seeking a limited engagement and is not trying to replace the dictatorship of President Bashar al-Assad.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, is already redrafting the president's proposed language to make the resolution even more restrictive and even more tactical and of even less meaning.
The most powerful nation in the world does not need a three- or four-week debate about a limited, symbolic, tactical use of power.