House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) on Sunday insisted that “no one is calling for military action in Syria” even though several lawmakers have called for a strike on the country’s air defenses to create a no-fly zone.
During an interview on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) if the United States should “stand by and watch the slaughter continue” without taking military action.
“I have met with [Department of Defense] officials, I have looked at what the options — at what the way the civil war is going, at how fractured the opposition is, at how Al-Qaeda is a huge part of that opposition,” Smith explained. “And it’s not that I’m not sure. Right now, my position is, if we were to go in there and try to arm rebel groups, it would make the situation worse and there would be an enormous risk of us getting dragged into a war that we don’t know the first thing about how it would come out.”
“Nobody is calling for military action in Syria. No one,” Rogers declared. “There are some great options… This is not something we should be arguing about.”
In fact, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) suggested earlier this month that the U.S. should take out part of Syria’s air defenses to create a no-fly zone.
“No one should think that the United States has to act alone, put boots on the ground, or destroy every Syrian air defense system to make a difference for the better in Syria,” McCain explained. “We have more limited options at our disposal — including limited military options — that can make a positive impact on this crisis.”
“We could use our precision strike capabilities to target Assad’s aircraft and SCUD missile launchers on the ground without our pilots having to fly into the teeth of Syria’s air defenses. Similar weapons could be used to selectively destroy artillery pieces and make Assad’s forces think twice about remaining at their posts. We could also use Patriot missile batteries outside of Syria to help protect safe zones inside of Syria from Assad’s aerial bombing and missile attacks.”
Watch this video from the Fox News’ Fox News Sunday, broadcast May 12, 2013.