McCain: Rejecting Syria Strike Would be 'Catastrophic'

Expresses cautious support for Obama's plan

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 2, 2013 3:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama got some conditional support for military intervention in Syria today from two key Republican foreign policy hawks: John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The pair met with Obama yesterday to express their concerns that US military action that was too limited, and would do little to change the course of the civil war. But they now say they're more inclined to back Obama's call for military action against Syria if it helps destroy the regime's missile launching capabilities and if the US commits to provide more assistance to Syrian opposition forces.

"We have to make it clear that a vote against this would be catastrophic in its consequences," now and in future international crises, McCain told reporters after the meeting. Said Graham: "A degrading strike limited in scope could have a beneficial effect to the battlefield momentum. There will never be a political settlement in Syria as long as Assad is winning." McCain, who has been pressing Obama for more than a year to intervene in Syria, said he believes lawmakers "must be assured that this is different from the past two years of neglect" on the part of the administration.

John McCain, left, accompanied by Lindsey Graham, speaks with reporters outside the White House.
John McCain, left, accompanied by Lindsey Graham, speaks with reporters outside the White House.   (Evan Vucci)
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