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‘Military Option’ for Syria: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

By MACKENZIE WEINGER

May 29, 2012 "
Information Clearing House" -- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said Monday “the military option should be considered” as the violence in Syria escalates.

Gen. Dempsey told CNN’s “Starting Point” that while he would prefer for the international community to find ways to pressure President Bashar al-Assad to leave power, the use of military force is always on the table. On Friday, 108 people were killed and 300 were injured in a massacre in Syria that sparked international outrage.

“I think the military option should be considered and I think that, but my preference of course always as the senior military leader would be that the international community can find ways of increasing the pressure on Assad to do the right thing and step aside,” he said on CNN. “But of course, we always have to provide military options, and they should be considered.”

Dempsey, the president’s top military adviser, also told CBS’s “This Morning” on Monday that he found the events in Syria “just horrific. Atrocious, really. I expect that the international community, that pressure will mount.”

“I think that diplomatic pressure should always precede any discussions about military options. And that is my job, by the way, is options, not policy. And so, we will be prepared to provide options if asked to do so,” Dempsey added.

Dempsey said he hopes that a “combination of economic and diplomatic measures” will push “Assad to make the right decision.”

“I don’t know whether in Syria’s particular case, a combination of economic and diplomatic measures will achieve that. But I certainly encourage our leaders, the international leaders to take that course and try to come together in a way that would cause Assad to make the right decision,” Dempsey told CBS.

This this article was first published at Politico

© 2012 POLITICO LLC

 

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