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Coats Warns About Unknown Syrian Strike Consequences

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September 9, 2013 — As President Barack Obama prepares to explain his rationale for using U-S military action in Syria’s civil war, an Indiana senator says he needs to do so.

President Obama plans to address the nation tomorrow night about his plan to order a military strike in Syria, where the Assad dictatorship is accused of using chemical weapons to kill more than 1400 of its people.

Hoosier Republican Senator Dan Coats warned the U-S Senate today about the consequences of an Obama Administration military strike in the Middle East.

Coats said, “I am certain that if the President had not drawn his ‘red line,’ we would not be having this discussion. In that case, Assad’s use of such weapons would be roundly condemned as yet another example of his horrendous brutality, but we would be no more eager to engage militarily in his civil war than we have been as the other 100,000 Syrian people were being slaughtered by more conventional means. Make no mistake, it is the credibility issue that has brought us to this pass, and the credibility issue is of President Obama’s own making – his and his alone.

“So tomorrow evening, the president will need to explain to the American people exactly what will be achieved by this limited, focused attack beyond simply a token punishment for a horrendous crime and defense of his credibility.

“The President has said that the proposed limited attack is to be a ‘shot across the bow.’ His secretary of State, John Kerry said it would be an ‘unbelievably small’ attack. We need to know what the plan is should Assad remain undeterred by this ‘unbelievably small’ ‘shot across the bow.’ What then?

“We need to know how this escalation is likely to influence extremist radical fighters now active in Syria, not overly concerned with limited demonstrations of US power. What will Hezbollah and Hamas and al-Qaida-affiliated fighters do when our show of force is over?  “What is the president’s plan of action if the chemical weapons fall into the hands of these anti-American Jihadists?   How about the always-threatened spillover of the Syria conflict into Lebanon or Turkey or Jordan?  Will an attack intended to slap Assad’s wrists while defending Obama’s credibility make expansion of the conflict more or less likely?

“And most importantly, the President must explain more thoroughly exactly how America’s national security interests would be served by this response.”

The President plans to make a speech Tuesday at 8 p.m. to explain why he supports limited military strikes against the Assad regime.

Click to see comments by Susan Rice about the President’s rationale for military intervention in Syria:

9-9-13 National Security Adviser Susan Rice comments about Syria military strike

Click to see the full comments by Senator Dan Coats:

9-9-13 Senator Dan Coats comments in US Senate

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