US SENATOR MCCAIN: REJECTION OF SYRIA WAR RESOLUTION WOULD BE ‘CATASTROPHIC’

The Washington Times on September 2, 2013, reported that emerging from a private briefing with President Obama at the White House, Sen. John McCain warned it would be “catastrophic” if Congress rejected a resolution authorizing Mr. Obama to take military action against Syria over its suspected use of chemical weapons.

Mr. McCain, of Arizona, and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, two of the leading Republican voices in the Senate on defense matters, met with Mr. Obama as part of a series of briefings with top lawmakers of both parties ahead of expected votes on possible military action against Syria.

“A vote against that resolution would be catastrophic,” Mr. McCain said. “It would undermine the credibility of the United States and of the president.”

Both men said the president was eyeing a plan to “degrade” the military capacity of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad while “upgrading” the capacity of democratic, pro-U.S. elements in rebel forces that have been battling Mr. Assad for two years.

The administration outlined “a pretty solid plan” to increase support for the Syrian opposition and get regional U.S. allies such as Jordan and Turkey more openly involved in the struggle against Mr. Assad, Mr. Graham said,…

Mr. McCain said he was “encouraged” by Monday’s briefing but said he still is not committed to voting for the resolution until next week’s debate.

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