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Rice Defends Military Intervention In Syria

Rachel Scott |
September 9, 2013 | 11:54 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Susan Rice (Via Flickr)
Susan Rice (Via Flickr)
“Syria would not be a another war,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a major speech to the New American Foundation in Washington. The former ambassador to the United Nations hoped to build support for U.S. intervention in Syria, stating that America must hold the Assad regime accountable for the use of chemical weapons against its own people.

“Failing to respond means more and more Syrians will die from Assad’s poisonous stockpiles,” Rice stated. She noted however, the need for action expands beyond Syria. She argued the United States must act to deter future acts on both Syrians and Americans. The use of chemical weapons is a serious threat to our national security, stated Rice and “failing to respond brings us closer to the day when terrorist might gain and use chemical weapons against Americans.”

Yet, even with the White House’s strong push for military action, many are still skeptical on whether the United States should get involved and how much aid to provide. Many public officials are concerned that military intervention could eventually lead to the deployment of American troops on the ground, or worse—a war similar to Iraq or Afghanistan. Rice addressed these concerns arguing military action would not require American troops on the ground in Syria. Instead she stated, there “would be limited strikes to deter the Syrian regime form using chemical weapons.” President Obama, she said, decided to use limited strikes because “the United States has exhausted a house of other measures.”

According to the White House, 14 nations including Germany, Hungary and Denmark have called for intervention but the push for additional international support continues. Rice urged other nations to counter terrorism and defend human rights. “We have seen what happens when the world fails to respond to horrific abuses on the scale we saw in Damascus,” said Rice.

Failing to intervene could also jeopardize America’s stance within the international community argued Rice. She explained that countries like Syria, Iran and North Korea, “are watching to see whether the United States will stand up” and insisted that failure to act “could indicate that the United States is not prepared to use the full range of tools necessary.”

With a Congressional vote expected on military action soon, Rice is just one piece of the Obama Administration’s ongoing campaign for intervention. During Rice’s speech, the State Department also discussed Russia’s proposal that would allow an international group to control Syria’s chemical weapons. President Obama will also make six network television interviews later this afternoon.

SEE ALSO: Russia Urges Assad To Put Chemical Weapons Under Int'l Control

Read more at Politico, The Guadrian and the First Post.

Reach Executive Producer Rachel Scott here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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