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House Foriegn Affairs committee listens to testimony
Gen. Martin Dempsey, Sec. Chuck Hagel and Sec. John Kerry
 testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Sen. John McCain, the nucleus of neocon foreign policy in the Senate, has offered his support for striking inside Syria after meetings in the White House. Now it is clear what he got in return for his support, a bit of mission creep:
The resolution was amended to include language from McCain and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., directing that the strike be used to “change the momentum on the battlefield” away from the Syrian government, which has had the edge for much of this year. The amendment said that it was necessary to pressure Assad to negotiate an end to the war.
Aha. So now Senate language explicitly looks to go beyond the "limited" attack on chemical weapons facilities and is now seeking to turn the war into the rebels' favor. That's regime change no matter how you slice or spin it.

The White House confirmed that it agrees with this language, praising the resolution and noting explicitly that it is seeking to topple Assad:

"The military action authorized in the resolution would uphold America's national security interests by degrading Assad's chemical weapons capability and deterring the future use of these weapons, even as we pursue a broader strategy of strengthening the opposition to hasten a political transition in Syria."
Secretary of State John Kerry has consistently been a supporter of arming and supporting the so-called "moderate" opposition. But up to now, he's only been able to get very limited support from the White House. Now he's going to get everything plus U.S. air and naval forces.

The White House nor the Senate have offered much discussion about an exit strategy. As in, how to exit the United States Navy and Marine Corps from an offensive posture along the Mediterranean coastline abutting Lebanon. Now we have a very particular broadening of the overall mission beyond just taking out chemical weapons, but using military force to support one side in the civil war. There is no discussion from any side about what happens if the Assad regime is toppled. More specifically, what are we going to do to prevent the inevitable violence and chaos we've seen in Libya lately?

Another not-well-thought-out American war in the Middle East pushed by the neocon wing of the Republican Party. I really, really thought we had got past all this.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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