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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Senate Panel Votes 10-7 To Authorize Force In Syria

From left, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, listen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

From left, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, listen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Update 3:30 p.m.: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voted 10 to 7 in favor of a resolution authorizing the use of force against Syria. No votes included Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, Florida Republican Marco Rubio and New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall.

There hasn’t been a formal debate about the use of military force in the U.S. Congress since the Iraq War.

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opened that debate again, responding to President Obama’s request for authorization to launch military strikes against the Assad regime in Syria, after the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

The committee heard from Secretary of State John Kerry, who used to chair the committee, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who used to be a member, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Martin Dempsey.

We listen to some of the back-and-forth from the hearing.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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