Former SecDef Gates Backs Syria Strike

Former SecDef Gates Backs Syria Strike

Robert Gates, the former U.S. defense secretary who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, has come out in favor of a U.S.-led military strike against Syria and is asking lawmakers to do the same.

“I strongly urge the Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, to approve the president’s request for authorization to use force in Syria,” Gates said in his first public statement on the matter, according to a report in Politico.

“Whatever one’s views on current U.S. policy toward Syria, failure by Congress to approve the request would, in my view, have profoundly negative and dangerous consequences for the United States not just in the Middle East but around the world both now and in the future,” he said.


The comments may help Obama administration officials, who are lobbying lawmakers to support a limited air campaign against Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians.

U.S. intelligence has concluded the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, in an Aug. 21 sarin gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus.

Despite overwhelming public opposition to U.S. involvement in Syria, a Senate panel yesterday voted 10–7 in support of a resolution authorizing the use of military force in the country. The full Senate and the House may decide on the measure next week.

The resolution would set a 60-day deadline for military action, with an optional a 30-day extension, and bar the deployment of ground troops to the country, or “boots on the ground.” The language, which was amended to highlight the goal of boosting moderate opposition forces, must still be approved by the full Senate and the House of Representatives.

Only 36 percent of the American public supports launching missiles against the Syrian regime, according to an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Tuesday, with almost six in ten opposing such a move. A small percentage of respondents had no opinion.

International opposition to a U.S.-led intervention in Syria is also high. The British Parliament recently blocked a measure that would have allowed British forces to participate and Pope Francis this week said a military solution would be a “futile pursuit.”

Gates, who served in the top position at the Defense Department from 2006 to 2011 under the Bush and Obama administrations, is scheduled to discuss Syria during a panel discussion Sept. 17 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, alongside his successor, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, according to the report.

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Stupidity must be spreading beyond Washington DC.

The biggest drama not mentioned is that we lose a pilot or two, and they become hostages that is the risk of mission creep. But as with Israel and Iran we will try to evac but if not possible, cyanide.

Face Obama wants war and he will get it with or with out congressional or group support. He has Islamist families members in Africa and is bent on helping Sunni Islamist win over any other force in the world.

Thank Goodness Mr. Gates is no longer the SECDEF!

I disagree with Gates on this issue, but I would take Gates any day of the week over Hagel.

None of our leaders that want war in Syria are representing the American people. Most Americans do not want this. Anyone seen the Jon Stewart take on Syria? It’s quite entertaining: http://​www​.ijreview​.com/​2​0​1​3​/​0​9​/​7​7​0​5​6​-​o​p​e​r​a​t​i​o​n-j

So by his remarks, we must do this because basically POTUS, opened his mouth and inserted a foot.…So a military strike will allow POTUS the opportunity to remove his foot.…… Sounds like a logical idea, yea right!.…..The problem continues to be that POTUS has no more creditability, no matter it be domestic or international.…

Gates’ commet in support of Syrian rebels truly demonstrates just how long the DoD has been devoid of, absent of and without any competent strategic planning competency. Example: Gates was a SAC “conehead” missileer; yet, under his watch, AF nuclear surety failed so miserably there are claw marks on the inside of Curt LeMay’s coffin. Reliance on Gates for sage advice (on any subject) pegs the absurdity gage.

I am all for a message to be sent to Syria. Chemical War Fare is cruel and an injustice to the human race.
Let Syria know Chemical War Fare is NOT acceptable in todays society.
I trust other countries to be involved with punishing Syria as well.
Several Nations through out the world signed a document stateing they where against the use of Chemical War Fare!

Now that the Russian fleet is sailing into the Med with the objective of defending Syria what does the US do once they start shooting down our Tomahawk missiles. Has the SECDEF thought about that?

If it’s not unoxygenated bacteria from a lake or a pesticide(sarin), it was banned a long time ago. Only 36% of the US is interested in this sector war. I’d rather they send aid to the refugee camps. Obama is from the US. The muslims have their own culture as everyone has become very aware of.

But normal warfare with 100 times the death toll is acceptable?

I was against attacking Syria because of the use of Sarin before I was for it. Slippery slopes in both directions of a limit airstrikes, but humanity cannot afford anyone continuing to use “sleeper” weapons.

If you’re a chess player, Syria could be just a disguise to attack Iran especially if Iran attacks Israel as the US could turn around and launch a full assault on Iranian nuclear facilities using bunker busting bombs from B-2 stealth bombers or even small tactical nuclear devices.

chris.….watched the speech live…after the “teleprompter message”, a few reporters, picked from the “approved” list pulled from POTUS Obama’s pockets starting their q’in.…. as b 4, when he goes “off prompter” POTUS enters into “The Danger Zone”.… a not well thought out off the cuff ramblin’ answer was interp. as U.S. Foreign Policy.…. that’s how I see it. But yest.‘day @ G20 he walked it back, as well as HSE MIN LDR Pelosi flat out sayin’..“He didn’t say that”!.…. when 65% of registered voters turn-out 4 a POTUS election, (lower in mid-terms) people get the g’ment they desrve!!

I doubt that that will happen.…. judging by the status & ships deployed, land based systems are a different story

Good point…try this one, we attack Syria, with lets say France & maybe Turkey (overtly) aiding in someway & Khameni in Iran attacks Isreal…a la SH durin’ DS/DS!

Are there good arguments for either option? I don’t think so. If we would have had some sort of legitimate strategy in place and jettisoned the pointless dithering at the security council we might have never gotten to this point. We didn’t have a strategy in place though and now we are stuck. Not striking carries just as many risks as striking and what an awful sort of choice to find yourself in.

The Israel lobby is pushing very hard for a strike on Syria they know it will easily escalate and we will have to send in an army of occupation for the next 20 years. What would be a disaster for the average American is actually Israel’s best case scenario.

In Israeli strategy the US will serve as a permanent buffer state, with a far greater ability to absorb the casualties that would simply cripple Israel.

How about sending Obama and Gates to Syria. That could really sort things out, and I believe most of the world (countries and people) would approve such step.

Obama should have initiated a Congressionally approved and multinational effort to start a lower cost, covert, CIA/spec ops mission three years ago to undermine the Syrian regime and help the Syrian people with humanitarian assistance. Instead he did squat, the peaceful protests were quashed, we have a blood bath, and a political nightmare when we can least afford it. He better pull his head out before Russia, China, and Iran come out of this in a stronger position than the US.

no need to lose pilots. use cruise missiles & UAVs.

Out of curiosity, what are the risks of not striking? Striking seems more risky at this point considering we’ve given teh Assad regime plenty of time to prepare…

Drawing all these phony “Red Lines” is reducing the effectiveness of deterrence. More and more, petty dictators and shadow military groups are learning the wrong message. That is, the decadent USA is not serious about defending their own interests. I want all potential enemies to know that the USA can be irrational, reactionary and retaliatory, and would be all those things if attacked directly with chem/bio or nuke weapons. I want the President to say that if chem/bio or nukes are used to kill Americans, we will annihilate the perpetrators and any other entity that stands in our way. One more thing…STFU Gates. You are one of the reasons there is no respect for US military power anymore. Now you talk tough?

So once again the government that napalmed and contaminated a small Southeast Asian country (Vietnam) and terrorized that population with Agent Orange now stands in front of the world to condemn WHO?? in Syria??

No one taking the US seriously when we say don’t use these weapons. Iran being embolden into thinking they can move forward with a nuclear program as we won’t do anything. Allies trusting us to honor treaties involving mutual defense. In general just plain old credibility the world over. I get we have limited interests in Syria specifically, but part of any deterrence against any adversary existing or potential is the belief when POTUS makes statements like that it means something.

Well that’s creepy! What other surprises do our esteemed government officials have in store for us? I’m beginning to believe that as a collective, ‘we the people’, know much more about what is in the best interests of our country than any prevailing democrat or republican!

Another Obama mouthpiece I would not trust what he says after all that has happened, Heck I donot trust the JCS Chairman, When did the officers goback to Boot Licking?

Who cares what this idiot thinks?

It’s kind of illogical to strike with any military force, after someone acts with total stupidity and informs the enemy as to the intent, time, date and military strategy they will be utilizing; then, they sit back and provide the enemy ample time to move and conceal all of their resources. I believe there is a word that describes this action in totality. At one point in time, that was considered a capital crime and people were actually sentenced to be executed. It must really be something new in the law of the land, that makes this kind of behavior commonplace. Maybe I am becoming senile and unable to fathom any of this strategy. The military appears to need a leader, or one with a true sense of reality

Lets see this man put his money where his mouth is, put on a uniform and get his butt to the front lines, in the trenches.

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