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Santa Clarita Valley congressman issues statement on Syria situation

'We Must Consider Our Troops When Debating Possible Intervention in Syria,' McKeon says

Posted: September 10, 2013 9:36 a.m.
Updated: September 10, 2013 9:36 a.m.

This past weekend I appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss the ongoing situation in Syria.

I am sure that you are gravely concerned about the major issue we are facing today regarding our possible involvement in Syria. In addition to representing the 25th District, I am also Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. This is the committee that oversees the Department of Defense and deals with issues effecting our military and national defense. In the last week, I have had calls with the White House and have been in Washington to meet with the President about the situation in Syria. Congress is now back in session, and this week the House Armed Services Committee is holding briefings and hearings on this critical issue.

My greatest concern with the President’s decision to strike in Syria is our troops.

Once again, President Obama is proposing adding another mission on our military while dramatically cutting their resources. I am as concerned about the readiness crisis in our military as I am with the crisis in the Middle East. The latest developments in Syria are more examples of an inescapable reality: the world is becoming increasingly hostile and protecting our ability to provide for a robust common defense is more important than ever.

I believe that it is immoral to let this horrific use of chemical weapons by President Assad go unanswered. However, it is also immoral to ask our men and women in uniform to continue to do much more with much less. Over the last few years, President Obama has surged troops to Afghanistan- and cut the military’s budget. He flew missions over Libya- and cut the military’s budget. He initiated a “pivot to Asia”- and cut the military’s budget. America’s armed forces are facing a trillion dollars in cuts- more than any other part of the government. Now he is asking us to commit forces to Syria at a time that our troops are facing historically deep cuts. In fact, the day before he asked Congress to authorize this mission, he told all men and women in uniform that their salaries will be less than expected next year. As Congress and the Administration continue to debate whether or not Congress will authorize a strike in the coming days, I will make sure that this critical point does not go unheard by our Commander in Chief and my colleagues in Congress.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted my office or reached out to me online in the last week to voice your opinions on this matter. I will continue to do my best to keep you updated on this evolving situation.


Congressman Buck McKeon



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