Grimes says 'last thing' she wants is open ended conflict in Syria

08/27/2013 05:16 PM

One of the most difficult jobs any United States Senator has is the decision to send the U.S. military into a conflict, which almost always affects Kentucky because of the two large military bases in the Commonwealth.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has said little about foreign affairs in her first nine weeks as a contender. But on Tuesday, in response to questions from Pure Politics, she said would defer to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Pentagon officials and make sure all other options are exhausted before sending in troops.

“Before we get involved in an open-ended conflict I do think it’s important as Secretary Kerry pointed out this morning, that we consult with our military leaders as to how best we can help in that region,” Grimes said. “The last thing I want to do is to get Kentuckians in an open ended conflict with no exit strategies.”

She said she would continue to monitor Kerry’s meetings with military leaders and said she hoped for a “positive resolution.”

U.S. military leaders and the Obama administration have become more outspoken about their certainty the Syrian government killed hundreds of civilians with chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 attack.

Kerry said the use of chemical weapons by the Syrians was “undeniable” and he called the attack a “moral obscenity”.

Kentucky is home to the Fort Knox and Fort Campbell Army installations which is home to 35,000 troops.

Grimes campaigned in Louisville where firefighters endorsed her campaign – the first major Kentucky endorsement she has received since entering the race July 1.

Meanwhile the New York Times reported that momentum for a military strike on Syria increased Tuesday as foreign allies take a harsh tone on the attack.

The Syrian conflict is ratcheting up as American war efforts in Iraq are winding down and military personnel from the United States and Kentucky are still fighting in Afghanistan. The U.S. is also sending over $1 billion in foreign aid to Egypt during a military coup.

Pure Politics asked Grimes what she felt the United States position is as a super power in conflicts across the globe. Grimes said she was focused — and would be focused — on domestic issues and she reiterated that conflicts across the continent needs to include exit strategies.

“My priority is tackling the problems here at home while making sure the efforts we get involved with abroad that we are not needlessly taking thousands of Kentuckians who I had the privilege and honor to get to know to meet in the middle east and involving them in conflicts that are open ended,” Grimes said.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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