In a joint statement released Saturday, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) commended the president for seeking congressional approval for actions against Syria, but expressed strong disapproval of limited military action.
The senators wrote that they believe Obama is correct in the assessment that Assad has used chemical weapons and this requires a military response. But they have continued to call for a more robust military response to “shift the balance of power.”
Here’s the statement:
“We believe President Obama is correct that the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons requires a military response by the United States and our friends and allies. Since the President is now seeking Congressional support for this action, the Congress must act as soon as possible.
However, we cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the President’s stated goal of Assad’s removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests. Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing. And it would send the wrong signal to America’s friends and allies, the Syrian opposition, the Assad regime, Iran, and the world — all of whom are watching closely what actions America will take.”
Both McCain and Graham are senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
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