McCaskill Says Putting Boots On The Ground An Option In Syria If ‘Absolutely Necessary’ | St. Louis Public Radio

McCaskill Says Putting Boots On The Ground An Option In Syria If ‘Absolutely Necessary’

Apr 28, 2013

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says officials are considering the best response to evidence that the embattled Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, may have used chemical weapons against his own people.   

First, she said officials are exploring humanitarian options to help the King of Jordan, Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, deal with a flood of refugees crossing his border with Syria, which could uproot the regime of the valued U.S. ally. 

As a guest on CBS’s Face the Nation, McCaskill added that officials are working out possible “surgical” responses that won’t make the problem worse.  McCaskill also said that it's possible that operatives for Iran and Hezbollah are now involved in Syria.  

With the situation so fluid, and deteriorating quickly, she said putting boots on the ground should only be done with extreme caution.

“I don’t think you ever want to say absolutely not,” McCaskill said.  “Obviously, we don’t want to do that unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

In contrast, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) joined McCaskill on the Sunday morning talk show and said sending in the troops is an option that should be taken off the table.

McCaskill said further complicating the issue is that it’s not clear who ordered the alleged use of chemical weapons.  

“Was this a rogue guy that decided to do this, or was this truly a decision by the government in Syria?” McCaskill said. “So, that’s why we have to know before we base our decision just on that.”

Chambliss disagreed with that assessment and said a recently defected Syrian general has confirmed that an order did come from the al-Assad regime. 

Both McCaskill and Chambliss also told host Bob Schieffer that there continues to be no evidence that the two men who allegedly bombed the Boston Marathon were part of a larger terrorist organization.