John McCain Gets Answers About Syria from Top General
(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain has been looking for answers from Army Gen. Martin Dempsey about how the White House plans to respond to the ongoing conflict in Syria. And while the Arizona Republican is not happy with what he's hearing from Dempsey, McCain said he would not put a hold on the general's nomination to serve another two-year term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Last week, McCain threatened to block the nomination when Dempsey would not discuss conversations he had with President Obama about the best ways to help rebel forces in Syria repel President Bashar al-Assad's military.
This week, the JCS chairman described in a letter to Congress several ways the U.S. could assist selected opposition groups. Dempsey said that establishing a no-fly zone would effectively be construed as an "act of war" that would cost $1 billion a month. Furthermore, he questioned whether such action would even slow down al-Assad's forces, who conduct nearly all their attacks on the ground.
Dempsey's opinions seemed to infuriate McCain, who said on Tuesday, "He basically describes a scenario where it’s impossible to intervene, and that’s not true."
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, another advocate of military action in Syria, remarked, "That would be the best billion dollars we ever spent to change the tide of war," calling inaction, "a catastrophic choice."
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