Senator Bob Corker speaking to a group of small business people at the Walden Club Wednesday morning, supporting a measured response to Syria in light of an alleged chemical attack by the government on its civilians.
"I support a surgical, proportional retaliation in Syria. I do think it's going to be something that is proportional and surgical. Whatever we do, should not be done in such a way as to alter the dynamic that we now have, which is to support the vetted Syrian opposition. Let them be the ones that are involved in this conflict. We do not want to be involved ourselves."
Corker stressed sending a firm message, but warned of the need to avoid a long term conflict.
"The balance that we have to strike is insuring Assad knows that we and the international community are not going to abide by someone using chemical weapons against civilians but at the same time, not further involving ourselves in a civil war that ends up being protracted and is certainly not good for our nation"
A failure of action from the U.S., Corker says could embolden other Middle Eastern nations as well.
"Iran, who we've also talked to about the development of a nuclear weapon, they are watching the United States now to see if the United States is going to follow on regarding red lines being crossed."
He says he's also like to see the Obama Adminstration act with the cooperation of Congress, something he says is long overdue in the arena of foreign policy.
"Congress has been shielded from any kind of tough decisions relative to foreign policy for too long. When the Senate and the House don't have to be responsible or take ownership of the things that we do relative to foreign policy, the debate around foreign policy can become awfully sophomoric and silly and partisan and I think that it's bad for our nation."
Corker says he expects the Obama Administration to act without consulting Congress. He said that's something the President has the right to do under the War Powers act.