McConnell announces he will oppose U.S. military action in Syria

09/10/2013 10:06 AM

After two weeks of thinking about it and before a meeting with the president and Republican senators, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor Tuesday that he will oppose military action in Syria.

McConnell’s position puts him in the same column as the majority of Kentucky’s federal delegation , but it also makes McConnell the only member of congressional leadership to oppose the president’s resolution.

McConnell said the decision to oppose military action was difficult.

“When the President of the United States asks you to take a question like this seriously, you do so,” McConnell said. “Because just as our credibility in Syria is tied up with our credibility in Iran and North Korea, so to is the credibility of the Commander in Chief tied up in a large extent to America’s credibility in general.”

Still, McConnell said the president’s leadership on the situation has been “timid and reluctant.” McConnell said he would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Obama or any president in any case where the security interests of the United States is threatened, to which he added he does not believe this is one of those situations.

In the lead-up to the announcement in his more than 25-minute speech, McConnell cited previous wars and conflicts in which the United States has been involved and said this situation does not stand up to his test of warranting military intervention. He said too many unanswered questions remain about a long-term strategy in Syria.

“I have never been an isolationist, and a vote against this resolution should not be confused by anyone as a turn in that direction,” McConnell said. “But just as the most committed isolationists could be convinced of the need for intervention under the right circumstances when confronted with a treat, so too do the internationalists among us believe that all interventions are not created equal.”

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