WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, released the following statement today on Syria:
“Assad’s chemical attacks on his own people were abhorrent, and I join the President in condemning his actions.
“It is clear that the Administration’s policies toward Syria have not worked. The refugee problem has destabilized the region, and the addition of outside radical groups increases the likelihood of long-term danger for Syrians and their neighbors.
“During the first months of the insurgency, I believed that we could and should assist in establishing a safe zone for refugees and those challenging Assad. This is a position I publicly held as late as March of this year, but the longer these things are allowed to drag on in the Middle East, the harder they are to impact in a positive way.
“I respect the President’s responsibilities as Commander in Chief. In this case, the President has asked the Congress to support very specific tactics and strategies. He has asked Congress to endorse a ‘shot across the bow’ and has said that Assad will stay in place while a political solution is sought, which stands in contrast to his statement more than two years ago that Assad must ‘step aside.’ I’m not convinced that the President’s strategy lines up with the policy goals our country should have, or that the Administration currently has realistic policy goals in Syria.
“After careful consideration and a number of briefings on this topic, I believe this strategy and the unknown response it may provoke are the wrong thing to do, and I will not support the resolution the President has asked for.”