Senator Roberts on Military Action in Syria

Following the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ consideration of a resolution authorizing use of military force in Syria, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts todayRoberts reaffirmed his opposition to military strikes in the Syrian conflict.

“I appreciate the deliberation of this important resolution in the Senate, but unfortunately, the resolution does not address my concerns about the goals of such an attack nor the details of our nation’s involvement, today and in the future,” Roberts said.

“While I recognize the horror of citizens and their children being murdered by their own government, whether by poison gas or bombs and bullets, it is clear we have no meaningful collation of allies –not the UN, the Arab League or even the British — nor detailed plan of action, nor clear picture of our objective.

“The President insists he has the authority to conduct a very limited military strike – a shot across the bow of the Assad regime – not war or even action to affect a regime change.

“Obviously Syrian President Bashar Assad will think this action will mean war. With this delay, Assad is simply moving his WMD weaponry and assets and will doubtlessly continue his murderous attacks on his own people. What does the Obama Administration do then?

“More important, do we have contingency plans for terrorist attacks against U.S. targets in the Mideast or even within the United States? Let us not forget the loss of more than 200 Marines in Beirut or the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole following similar attacks. History tells us murderous dictators have never been deterred by slaps on the wrist.

“This proposed action is both dangerous and inept and, as defined by the President – instead of sending a strong message to Assad, North Korea, Iran and Russia – will be regarded as little more than a slap on the wrist.

“In all probability, the administration will accomplish nothing except a feckless effort to respond to the President’s red line warning. Now, in delaying the attack, he simply wants the Congress to provide cover. How many times have we seen these attempts to involve our military in limited political wars of gradualism where victory is not clearly defined? Our nation should never engage without a clear objective, a plan of alternative action and a clear exit strategy. The Senate resolution does not clarify or meet these requirements.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee favorably reported the resolution with a vote of 10-7 with one present.