McCain: 250 more US troops in Syria ‘insufficient’


Deploying 250 more troops to Syria is necessary but insufficient, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday.

“The deployment of 250 additional U.S. military forces to Syria is a welcome development, but one that is long overdue and ultimately insufficient,” McCain said in a written statement. “Another reluctant step down the dangerous road of gradual escalation will not undo the damage in Syria to which this administration has borne passive witness.”

President Obama announced Monday that he authorized sending another 250 troops to Syria to help in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Previously, just 50 special operations troops were in the country.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, has lately been slamming the incremental force increases.

The gradual increases, McCain has said, remind of him of the slow buildup in Vietnam that ultimately led to the United States’s defeat there.

In Syria, the administration’s inaction has perpetuated the civil war there, McCain said Monday.

“While the Assad regime, together with Russia, Iran and their proxies, has slaughtered Syrians with impunity and changed the military facts on the ground, the administration has been on a fool’s errand pleading with Vladimir Putin to negotiate a political solution to the very hostilities he perpetuates,” McCain said.

Issues in Syria will persist, McCain added, unless the administration acts. 

“This is the inevitable result of forsaking the lessons of history: that power abhors a vacuum, that wars don’t end because politicians say so, that there are military dimensions to achieving political solutions, and that the perils of indecision and inaction often outweigh the risks of action,” he said.

“Until the administration reconciles its policy with these truths, Syrians will continue to die, refugees will continue to flood Europe, and the scourge of [ISIS] will continue to spread.”

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