McCaskill, Blunt react to president’s statements on Syria

The president said he would put off a vote on the military strike while working on a diplomatic option.

President Barack Obama addressed the nation Tuesday night on a possible U.S. military strike on Syria.

The president said in his address that he would put off a vote on the military strike as he works with Russia and other American allies on a possible diplomatic solution to force Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to international forces to then be destroyed.

If the diplomatic option fails and the U.S. chooses to go through with a military strike, the president promised that he would not put american troops on the ground in Syria.

“Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver,” Obama said in the address.

Repeatedly bringing up the images of children and civilians suffering from chemical weapons, the president urged politicians on both sides of the aisle to support his efforts. He also warned that not responding to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons would encourage other dictators to also use such measures.

Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., both released statements regarding their opinions of the situation and the president’s address.

“The President made an important case for why Syria’s use of chemical weapons has serious implications for America’s national security — and that a credible threat of military force can strengthen the chances of a diplomatic solution,” McCaskill said in a news release. “But, I also continue to weigh the possible consequences of military action.”

In order to address the possible U.S. involvement in Syria, McCaskill canceled events in Missouri last week to return early to the Senate. She received in-person classified briefings and spoke with members of the Armed Services Committee, according to the news release.

“Over the coming days, I will continue to engage with my colleagues, evaluate classified information and monitor a situation which continues to evolve on a daily basis,” McCaskill said.

Blunt, a member of the Armed Services Committee, believes that the U.S. needs to take action in Syria, according to a news release.

“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,” Blunt said in the news release. “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.”

Blunt does not agree with the president’s plan of action, according to the news release.

“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,” Blunt said in the news release.

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