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Chairman Salmon Rejects Use of U.S. Military Force in Syria


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, released the following statement regarding this afternoon's Foreign Affairs hearing on the use of military force in Syria and the testimonies by Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey.

"This morning, we heard President Obama emphatically state that "the world set a red-line' regarding the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad's regime. Given his statement, I felt it was appropriate to ask Secretary Kerry during his testimony if the world would join the United States in responding with multi-lateral military force. Unfortunately, Secretary Kerry's response was unconvincing and led me to believe that the United States would be left to strike unilaterally and without a broad coalition of other nations.

"During today's hearing, the Obama Administration had an opportunity to make their case for military intervention in Syria's long-standing civil war. After listening to today's testimony, I am, at this time, opposed to the use of U.S. military force because the Administration failed to present a convincing argument that the events in Syria pose a clear threat to America, failed to list a strong coalition of nations willing to support military attacks, and failed to articulate a clear definition of victory. While the use of chemical weapons should not be tolerated by any nation or regime, the Administration has not clearly answered these important questions, and therefore, has yet to convince the American people that military action is necessary at this time."

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