What you need to know | USA TODAY
Venezuela is in crisis after an attempt overthrow corrupt dictator Nicolas Maduro. But is this just another proxy war between the U.S. and Russia?
Possible U.S. military action in Venezuela is prompting bipartisan concern in Congress, where Democrats and Republicans alike cautioned against a rush toward intervention amid escalating rhetoric from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
After the U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido failed last week to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Pompeo said U.S. military action “is possible.” He and Bolton met last Friday with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to discuss possible options.
But U.S. intervention would be highly controversial and could spark a political backlash, in the United States and across the hemisphere. Maduro has said any U.S. military invasion would be “worse" than Vietnam – and many lawmakers, as well as Latin America experts, agree it could lead to a quagmire.
"What would our military’s mission be in Venezuela?” said Sen. Todd Young, an Indiana Republican, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee. “Would the administration push for our military to conduct regime change?”
The Marine Corps veteran has called for immediate congressional hearings on the issue and said he wants several “threshold questions” answered by Trump officials.
“Oftentimes military commitments destabilize situations as opposed to improving them,” Young told USA TODAY in an interview.
Any move by the Trump administration to send American forces to Venezuela would require congressional authorization, Young and other lawmakers said. That, in turn, would require Pompeo and others to make a compelling case to Congress and the American public that such a move is warranted.
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