Air Force Chief: US Not Prepared for Syria Attacks

Says Operation Would Be 'More Complicated' Than Libya

US Air Force Chief Gen. Mark Welsh says that his forces have been preparing to attack Syria for months now, but that they’re not really “prepared” for the operation, citing the budget sequestration concerns. He also warned that the war would be “more complicated” than the bombing campaign in Libya.

It’s the latest in a long line of comments from top military officials suggesting they aren’t on board with the administration’s plans to start a war with Syria, a fact about which officials have repeatedly expressed annoyance.

Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey has repeatedly issued pointed warnings about the war’s potential to grow well beyond its initial scope, and speaking to Congress today insisted that he’s been told to develop options to “degrade” Syria’s capabilities, but not to change the ongoing civil war.

But underscoring his warnings, Dempsey also said it was possible that the US attacks might lead Russia to increase its military support for the Assad government, saying “if we destroy something, they can replace it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of