Ahead of a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the proposed use of authorized military force in Syria, Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, said he was concerned about the move in light of sequestration cuts to our military.
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“It gives me great pause that we have not addressed the devastating cuts to our military due to sequestration – even as we commit our military to another new mission,” McKeon said. “We have surged troops to Afghanistan – and cut the military’s budget. We have flown missions over Libya – and cut the military’s budget.”
The officials giving testimony Tuesday include Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.
“This committee has closely monitored the conflict in Syria. Throughout, this committee has focused on understanding the strategic context; the options; the risks of those options; as well as the costs of military action in Syria,” McKeon said.
“I hope our witnesses will focus not only on the case for military action that has been made over the last two weeks, but also address the justifiable concerns that have been raised by members on a bipartisan basis,” he continued.
“This includes understanding more about likely second order affects, how a limited strike will achieve our policy goals, and the planning that has been done to respond should Assad miscalculate – in terms of both operational and financial planning,” he said.
McKeon also addressed what he called “bipartisan concern” over Assad’s use of chemical weapons against Syrian citizen, however, he questioned if starting another campaign was a legitimate option because the U.S. “military has been chewed up from budget cuts and years of fighting.”
“We cannot keep asking the military to perform dangerous mission after mission with multiple rounds of defense cuts, including sequestration, hanging over their heads,” he said.
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Source: Santa Clarita News