Obama: US Needed to Be Willing to ‘Take Over Syria’ to Do More in War

Insists Bigger War 'Impossible to Do on the Cheap'

As part of his year-end news conference, President Obama defended the scale of America’s ongoing war in Syria, insisting that he really “wanted to do something” and that the war the US ended up launching, with a few hundred ground troops and large numbers of air strikes, was the most he was able to muster.

This was because he was unable to get Congressional support for a bigger war, or the approval of the international community for such an operation, saying that the United States would’ve needed to be willing to “take over Syria” outright to get in a much bigger war.

Obama wasn’t necessarily averse to this idea, it seems, but that such a huge war was “impossible to do on the cheap.” It appears that not getting sucked into Syria’s ongoing civil war was never even considered by the administration as an option.

It is noteworthy that President Obama is lamenting the lack of a bigger US war in Syria, as Secretary of State John Kerry also recently insisted that both he and Obama really wanted that war back in 2013, and that it was really the fault of the Republican Congress that the 2013 invasion didn’t happen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.