Unsatisfied with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reluctance to outline his assessment of military options in Syria, Sen. McCain put a hold on Gen. Dempsey’s nomination.
Subsequently, in a letter to the Senate, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined five military options. One of the options, a McCain favoirte, the nofly zone in Syria would cost about a billion a month.
A full no-fly zone, Gen. Dempsey wrote in the letter, would eventually cost $1 billion a month.
He also noted that exercising any military option could make further involvement “hard to avoid.”
“Once we take action, we should be prepared to act next,” he said.
The Obama administration has, for now, ruled out military options in Syria. But it has authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin training and arming Syrian opposition fighters in Jordan.
In addition to training the rebels and establishing a no-fly zone, Gen. Dempsey wrote that the military has also reviewed limited stand-off strikes, establishing a buffer zone to protect border areas, and proposals to control chemical weapons.The cost of stand off strikes, Gen. Dempsey said would be in the billions. He estimated a cost of $1 billion per month for both the buffer zone and any military effort to secure chemical weapons sites.
Gen. Dempsey also evoked the lessons of the Iraq war, noting that the military has learned that it must anticipate unintended consequences.
“We have learned from the past 10 years, however, that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state,” Gen. Dempsey said.
I'm glad General Dempsey was given this opportunity to spread the truth. McCain is probably kicking himself for forcing the truth to come out.