Never do something you can’t afford.
The U.S. military, struggling after defense cuts of tens of billions of dollars, will be unable to pay for attacks on Syria from current operating funds and must seek additional money from Congress, according to congressional aides.
President Barack Obama, meanwhile, said on Friday he has not made a final decision on a military strike against Syria. He sought to play down both the scope and duration of the anticipated punitive missile and bombing campaign.
“As you’ve seen, today we’ve released our unclassified assessment detailing with high confidence that the Syrian regime carried out a chemical weapons attack that killed well over a thousand people, including hundreds of children,” Obama said.
The president said the use of the deadly weapons had violated international “norms” and that action was needed to prevent the further use of the arms.
A future military operation would not involve troops on the ground as part of a long-term campaign, Obama said. “But we are looking at the possibility of a limited, narrow act that would help make sure that not only Syria but others around the world understands that the international community cares about maintaining this chemical weapons ban and norm,” he said.
The White House on Friday released an intelligence assessment that concluded with “high confidence” the Bashar al-Assad regime conducted a deadly poison gas attack using a nerve agent. It stated, “Our high confidence assessment is the strongest position that the U.S. intelligence community can take short of confirmation.”