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August 26th, 2013
06:25 PM ET

Analysis: Americans are not prepared for U.S. involvement in Syria

While President Barack Obama weighs his military options in Syria, members of Congress – still on vacation – want to make sure they are not left out of the conversation.

"I hope the president, as soon as we get back to Washington, will ask for authorization from Congress to do something in a very surgical and proportional way," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, said on "Fox News Sunday."

"Under the War Powers Act they have to notify Congress immediately of a significant use of American forces. So there will be consultation. There has to be consultation," Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, said on Sunday.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner told CNN that the president has not reached out to their office about any potential military action in Syria, saying in a statement, "If U.S. action is imminent, it is our hope that the president doesn't forget his obligations – to Congress, but, also, to speak directly to the American people."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the State Department and White House have been consulting members of Congress.

The toughest words from the administration have come not from the Obama but from Secretary of State John Kerry.

"Kerry has become the spokesman for the president in this particular case," said Gloria Borger, CNN chief political analyst. "There is no mistaking what Kerry was saying. I think you have to assume at this point that the United States, along with allies, is going to do some kind of military activity."

"They're preparing the American public, and in the end you may, and should, hear from the president himself," said Borger.

The American people are not prepared for the U.S. to be involved in another conflict, said CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen.

"But the president has the bully pulpit to get us prepared... As long as the president sort of describes a mission that has a beginning, a middle and an end, my guess is that the American people are going to be with him," said Rosen.

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for a year or more on Syria.

"He's been dithering in Syria for two years. Right now, he has no good options because basically we've been ignoring the conflict over there, and not doing anything while 100,000 people were massacred," said Marc Thiessen, columnist with The Washington Post and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

For more analysis, check out the video above.

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