Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey confirmed that the Obama Administration is discussing the prospect of attacking Syria, and that the Pentagon has provided President Obama with several options for “kinetic strikes.”
Dempsey insisted that the momentum of the ongoing Syrian Civil War has shifted in favor of the Assad government, while hawkish Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) railed about the administration not having attacked Syria long ago.
McCain and Dempsey clashed when Dempsey suggested that a US invasion can sometimes making situations worse. McCain blasted him for opposing the 2007 surge in Iraq, insisting that it proved that US escalations were “right” and any opposition to them was wrong.
President Obama’s promises to arm rebels and the new talk of invasion have sparked concern from some in Congress that the rebels’ ties to al-Qaeda are concerning and that the administration doesn’t have specific exit strategies despite their eagerness to get involved in new conflicts. The administration seems reluctant to address that criticism publicly, and is relying on hawks to shout down any opposition to war in general.
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