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McCain: Limited Cruise Missiles Not Strong Enough Response to Syria

By    |   Tuesday, 27 August 2013 05:28 PM

Sen. John McCain doesn't think three days of missile strikes against Syria will make a significant impact on the fighting, and said it might even have an "unhelpful effect."

McCain, R-Ariz., told Fox News Channel on Tuesday that the United States has "passively observed" while the Syrian civil war has grown into a regional conflict.

"The whole region is in a state of unrest, and that's because there is no policy and no strategy there in the Middle East," he said.

Media reports have said the United States plans three days of cruise missile attacks beginning Thursday after Syria's government used chemical weapons on civilians last week.

It is the second time since early spring that the Bashar al-Assad government has attacked civilians with chemical weapons, according to U.S. intelligence. The moves cross a "red line" drawn by President Barack Obama a year ago that he said would force U.S. action.

Members of both parties in Congress are divided over how to respond, though many think Obama must act since he set the "red line." To do nothing would risk losing American credibility in the region and across the world, they say.

Members of the Tea Party wing such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, think any action should be based strictly on American interests rather than simply to "be a policeman of the world."

McCain, on the other hand, thinks Obama isn't going far enough.

"The question is, will those attacks just be a retaliation and Bashar (Assad) goes on as normal, or will those attacks degrade his capabilities, particularly his air capabilities, which you could do easily with stand-off weaponry?" McCain told Fox News' Neil Cavuto.

McCain met with some of the Syrian rebels earlier this year and called them "freedom fighters." Others have worried that arming them might be dangerous because up to seven of the nine different rebel groups may be connected to al-Qaida.

McCain told Cavuto that isn't true, and that it is vital that the United States assist with arms to turn the battle and overthrow Assad.

"This situation is one which we may pay a very heavy price for for a very long time," McCain said.


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Sen. John McCain doesn't think three days of missile strikes against Syria will make a significant impact on the fighting, and said it might even have an unhelpful effect.
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2013-28-27
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 05:28 PM
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