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by
Rick Moran

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August 24, 2013 - 8:19 am

As Secretary of Defense Hagel points out, the movement of forces toward Syria is so that we have assets in place if the president wants to take some kind of military action against President Assad’s forces in Syria.

But they wouldn’t be ordered to approach unless there was more than a small chance they would be used.

Fox News:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel suggested Friday that the Pentagon was moving naval forces closer to Syria in preparation for a possible decision by President Obama to order military strikes.

Hagel declined to describe any specific movements of U.S. forces. He said Obama asked that the Pentagon to prepare military options for Syria and that some of those options “requires positioning our forces.”

The president’s senior national security advisers are expected to meet at the White House this weekend to discuss possible military options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, a U.S. official told Fox News Friday.

U.S. defense officials told The Associated Press that the Navy had sent a fourth warship armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea but without immediate orders for any missile launch into Syria.

U.S. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military action, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, as they did against Libya in 2011 as part of an international action that led to the overthrow of the Libyan government.

“The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for contingencies, and that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options — whatever options the president might choose,” Hagel said.

He said the U.S. is coordinating with the international community to determine “what exactly did happen” in the reported use by the Syrian government of chemical weapons against civilians earlier this week.

“We’re still assessing that,” he said.

Hagel said a determination on the chemical attack should be made swiftly because “there may be another attack coming,” although he added that “we don’t know” whether that will happen.

Hagel said that although he is scheduled to spend the next week traveling in Southeast Asia, he will remain in contact with the White House about developments in Syria and planning for potential U.S. action.

It’s not that there’s a lack of targets. Perhaps before we go blundering into another war, we should consider just whose side we’re supporting. We could draw up a target list for all sides, put a blindfold on, and throw darts to determine where we strike. While we’re weakening Assad, it might not be a bad idea to toss a few cruise missiles al-Qaeda’s way. And what of the jihadis from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Gulf states? Do we really want to empower them by taking out their enemy?

The idea that we’re protecting civilians by going after Assad is only partly correct. Those same civilians will be under the guns of al-Qaeda and the radical jihadis once Assad is gone. At that point, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the oppression of Assad and the murderous intentions of the terrorists.

A good argument for non-intervention in any case.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (6)
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Syria [by way of Russia] is in possession of Soviet Anti-Ship missiles that can 'reach out and touch' to 240 kilometers. They are designed/capable-of going low and way in-excess of supersonic. They can be programmed to fly route-paths, as needed.
Think Assad won't use them ?
He won't. It'll be a 'rogue general' or some-such, but the damage is already going to be done. Then,... all bets are off...............
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sooner or later, Congress is going to have to reassert it's Constitutional authority, or the Executive branch will become all-powerful, and the checks and balances system will be meaningless. The issue of who decides to initiate hostilities would be a good place to start. Past Presidents have more or less ignored the 1973 War Powers Resolution and gotten away with it. But Congress still has the ability to shut off funding for the military. The Congressional leadership should put Obama on notice that it can and will shut down any war which it has not approved.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Before losing myself in the pros and cons of an attack upon Syria with the ideal of removing Assad to be replaced by ???? so that, as in Libya, another spotless democracy may commenence (and perhaps we can get rid of another ambassador), I wish to ask one question, one not yet posed in the august pages of PJM. And the question:

What about the Constitution of the (former) Republic of the United States of America? Bushies both made war against Iraq with strong Congressional support, though without any declaration of war as constitutionally mandated. Obama made HIS war against Libya with massive bombardments with only a few hours notice given to the Congress. There was no formal declaration of war as constitutionally mandated, let alone Bush-like discussions and resolutions. As regards Syria I hear only discussions of "will he or won't he" make war and the advantages or not of such action. It just feels natural that when the president of the Republic of the United States of America wants to go to war, not only is there no formal declaration of war by the Congress, but that now the Congress really plays no significant role. The de facto delcaration of war is now a presidential decision, only limited by political realities. Obama as president decides!!! Voilà, c'est tout!" as Napoleon might have said as First Consul of the French Republic.

There has been no formal declaration of war made by the Congress of the good old United States of America since WW II. UN treaty, congressional support and now the blatant imperial "fiat" of the president. Years ago Prof. Thomas Woods, jr. wrote a book concerning who killed the Constitution?", for dead it is! Read Woods' book for the answer to that question. I note that the failure to raise, and to raise with vehemence, the constitutional question testifies to the fact that we all submit to the "fiat" power of the Napoleon of America, still formally known as "president". But reality is napoleonic, not constitutional.

So, once again: What about the Constitution of the United States of America re making war? Or does it matter any more?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually if we wanted to weaken Assad wouldn't it make more sense to weaken Iran who is supplying him with troops, weapons, and stuff. If we hit the fuel refineries in Iran things would get tight there right quick?........."But they've got nukes"...."But you assured me they didn't"......
Around and around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel...
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
shouldnt we already have naval forces in the eastern med?

34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
About the best mission we could consider would be some kind of smash and grab of the WMD. Would depend on how well me can locate their storage facilities and what kind of troops are holding them.

But if they've done the math and it isn't feasible, well, ok.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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