WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee released the following statement in opposition to U.S. military action in Syria:
“The administration has indicated its goal is to use limited military action to significantly degrade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons against his own people and to deter future attacks. After hearing from the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in a top-secret briefing, I do not believe that the range of options the president is considering will accomplish this military objective, and therefore I cannot now support intervention into the Syrian civil war.
“First, it remains unclear how the president’s plan to execute limited strikes would prevent Assad from using chemical weapons again or even make it less likely. Second, it is entirely possible that ineffective U.S. strikes would embolden Assad to become even more ruthless towards his people.
“Finally, I am greatly concerned that in order to achieve the president’s goal, the U.S. would be required to become much more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war than the administration is willing to commit. The real threat to U.S. credibility is not what happens if we don’t intervene, but what happens if we do without a plan for what comes next.
“The risks of the president’s strategy far outweigh the possible gains. We cannot ask our men and women in uniform to engage in a military conflict that does not present a national security threat to the United States. Instead, the U. S. should work vigorously to identify and neutralize any real threats to our national security – such as the proliferation of chemical weapons. We must work to ensure that chemical weapons in Syria do not get into the hands of groups that will use them against American or western targets.”