The U.S. should stay out of Syria unless President Barack Obama agrees to restore military funding slashed by last year's sequester, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon says.
As the only remaining superpower, America has a unique obligation to act, the California Republican says in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece
, but it is not in a position to do so.
McKeon says he will vote no on any use-of-force resolution unless there is a move to restore full funding.
"Common sense dictates that if you increase how often the military is used at a time when the military budget is being cut, you should restore the funding or you're asking for trouble," the 11-term congressman writes.
"It's the same with driving a car: If you put 175,000 miles on your Chevy and spend less on maintenance as time passes, soon that Chevy's going to be up on blocks."
McKeon specifically objects to authorizing military strikes in Syria while maintaining the sequester's planned $50 billion cuts to the military's budget in the next fiscal year.
"Americans should be uncomfortable with the notion of deploying a depleted military to combat without a commitment on the part of the president and Congress to restore its funding," writes McKeon.
"You don't conduct military campaigns with half a heart or half a wallet. Or, as Napoleon put it: 'When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.'"
McKeon says he recently shared his concerns with the president and has requested a follow-up meeting.
"I plan to ask the president, in light of the weight of his decision to intervene in Syria, for his commitment to address sequestration as part of any deal on the debt ceiling. If he makes that commitment, then he has my support. If not, I won't be able to vote to send our over-stretched and under-funded military into action."
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