Nelson to Obama: Deploy military to combat oil spill

The letter does not spell out what specific steps Nelson believes the military could take, but generally argues it could help to protect people's livelihoods and the region's coastlines, wetlands and fisheries.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that the military is in a “support role,” and emphasized that the oil industry possesses the most technical capacity to try and stop the leak.

“We have participated in the meetings here in Washington and actually down on the scene. We are offering everything we can possibly do to try to help,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”