WASHINGTON –Thursday, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice-chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned the nominee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, and nominee for Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral James A. Winnefeld, on the situation in Syria and the response from the international community and the United States.
During the questioning, Chambliss stressed the need for action by the U.S. and U.N. Security Council in order to prevent the deaths of innocent civilians in Syria, and to ensure the conflict does not spill over into other parts of the region.
“There has been virtually uncontrolled slaughter going on inside of Syria,” Chambliss said. “Even the president’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations said yesterday in her hearing that ‘the failure of the U.N. Security Council to respond to the slaughter in Syria is a disgrace that history will judge harshly.’ I agree with that. But it’s also true the United States has sat by and watched what’s happening over there.
“Here is my dilemma, General. You are the top military adviser to the president. Syria is the most significant internal military conflict going on today. It has the capability of providing future unrest to that part of the world that may be permanent. There’s been no change in U.S. policy from a military standpoint in Syria during your two years.
“Now, if we confirm you for another two years, then is there going to be a change in policy in Syria over the next two years? Or are we just going to keep doing what we’re doing, which is watching innocent people slaughtered?”