**New policy approach needed to achieve critical U.S. strategic objectives**

**U.S. forces have come into direct, lethal contact with Russia-backed Syrian troops**

**If White House does not provide Syria strategy, Congress must act**

Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, are urging committee leaders to create a bipartisan panel that will undertake a comprehensive and strategic policy review of American policy in Syria, if the White House does not provide a strategy by the time the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) comes to the Senate floor.

In a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee requesting the creation of a Syria Study Group, the senators wrote: “The Syrian civil war… serves as a continuing call to arms for terrorist groups and criminals around the world. The United States has focused its mission on defeating terrorists groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but an increasingly complex battlefield environment threatens progress made by the Counter-ISIS Coalition and complicates a future political settlement to the Syria crisis.”

Sasse and Shaheen added: “The proposed Syria Study Group would, we believe, allow Congress to support a policy approach that closes the current gap between U.S. goals and concrete U.S. commitments while ensuring that any escalation of U.S. involvement in Syria is not undertaken for tactical gains alone but is part of a strategy to achieve critical U.S. objectives.”  

The Sasse/Shaheen letter calling for the creation of a Syria Study Group is available here.

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