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Gen Martin Dempsey Warns Not To Strike Syria: US Not Ready, A Fools Errand: McCain Calls Dempsey “Disingenuous”

Published: September 6, 2013
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Source: Maggies Notebook

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey has told Obama that a strike on Syria will end in involvement with Iran and Russia. Senator John McCain responded that Dempsey’s warnings are “disingenuous.”

General Martin Dempsey

General Martin Dempsey

Specifically calling Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “disingenuous,” McCain claimed that limited, strategic strikes against key assets of Syrian President Bashar Assad would be much more manageable than the army – and the administration of US President Barack Obama – have let on…

McCain was responding to a letter sent last month by Dempsey to Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in which Dempsey described military intervention in Syria as a fool’s errand.

Estimating that action could cost the $1 billion a month and require “thousands” of ground troops, Dempsey said strikes would be “no less than an act of war” with no guarantee of success.

Dempsey said intervention would likely embolden extremist groups.

“We have learned from the past 10 years… that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state,” Dempsey added. Source: Jerusalem Post


The administration is trying to sell protection of Israel as an objective. Shameless in my opinion. That train left the station months ago.

“The president has been told point blank that this could be the start of a military intervention that could take months or even a year until there is any resolution,” a source who has been following the debate said.

The sources said the biggest opponent of a military campaign against Syria has been the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey. They said Dempsey, who sought to maintain a low profile, has warned that the U.S. military was not ready for any sustained conflict against Syria that could involve two of its leading allies, Iran and Russia.

“Dempsey has been unusually blunt in his remarks with both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden,” the source said. “His assessment is that any U.S.
war against Assad will automatically involve his foreign allies, and that means Teheran and to a smaller extent, Moscow.” Source: World Tribune

John Kerry said Congress will do the “right thing” because they “understand the stakes.” Strange because few others do.

In April, Dempsey said that the US military could force down Syria’s warplanes and disrupt its air defenses, but not without significant peril to US pilots, all for a negligible impact on dictator Bashar al-Assad.

“It’s not about: can we do it? It’s: should we do it, and what are the opportunity costs?” Dempsey testified to the Senate armed services committee in March 2012.

Dempsey’s nomination for a new term as chairman was even briefly delayed in the Senate last month after pro-war senators demanded fuller advice about Syria.

In response, Dempsey listed nearly every military option mooted, from limited strikes to full-blown US intervention, and found them fraught with risk and expense. He emphasized the difficulty of staying out of the Syrian civil war once Washington launches any military action.

“Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next,” Dempsey wrote to the committee on 19 July. “Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”

Even the “limited stand-off strikes” of the sort the Obama administration is now considering would require “hundreds of aircraft, ships submarines and other enablers.” The impact on Assad would be felt “over time” in the form of a “significant degradation of regime capabilities,” but there is a risk that “the regime could withstand limited strikes by dispersing its assets.” Source: The Guardian

“Dispersing assets?” You bet. How much time has Syria had to move “assets” into the civilian population? That’s what terrorist thugs do. Muslims cram their weaponry into schools and mosques and dare civil society to come after them. Lousy timing and General Dempsey is making the point.

According to The Guardian article, retired Army colonel Bob Killebrew said Dempsey is an “absolute straight shooter” and his reluctance to get involved in Syria is likely “the opinion of all the chiefs.”

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