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Dempsey Again Warns Against
U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

Aug. 22, 2013 (EIRNS)—Associated Press on Aug. 21 released a letter from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey to New York Rep. Eliot Engel, in which Dempsey warns against U.S. involvement in Syria because the rebels won't back U.S. interests. Dempsey said the U.S. military is clearly capable of taking out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's air force and shifting the balance of the Arab country's 2 1/2-year war back toward the armed opposition. But he said such an approach would plunge the United States deep into another war in the Arab world and offer no strategy for peace in a nation plagued by ethnic rivalries.

"It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not," he wrote. "It is a deeply rooted, long-term conflict among multiple factions, and violent struggles for power will continue after Assad's rule ends," he added. "We should evaluate the effectiveness of limited military options in this context."

Engel, for his part, shares the view of Sen. John McCain in favor of intervening in Syria and, like McCain, has proposed cruise missile attacks against Assad's air force.