President Barack Obama is once again turning to Congress to approve a stepped-up US role in Syria, despite being rebuffed last year.

The president in his commencement address at West Point on Wednesday announced his desire to “work with Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and a brutal dictator.” He also asked lawmakers to approve a new $5 billion counterterrorism fund, aimed in part at combating Syrian extremists.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State John Kerry made similar overtures to Congress as he made the rounds of morning news shows to preview the president’s speech. […]