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Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe says rejecting military action in Syria would not be catastrophic

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says U.S. stature is not at stake in a congressional vote about Syria, and that the military is too stressed to be drawn into a protracted action.
by Chris Casteel Modified: September 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm •  Published: September 2, 2013
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Sen. Jim Inhofe, of Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Monday night that congressional rejection of military action in Syria would not be “catastrophic,” as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asserted earlier in the day.

Instead, Inhofe said, being pulled into a protracted struggle as the U.S. military suffers from deep budget cuts would be the real problem.

Inhofe, who has attended a series of briefings in the past two days and has more scheduled Tuesday, has stressed repeatedly that the U.S. military was not prepared for another major military operation.

He said he was not talking about launching some cruises missiles at Syria; that could be managed, he said.

However, “That would be defined in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, as a major act of war by the United States,” Inhofe said in an interview. “And then we're going to get drawn into something deeper.”

McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., met with President Barack Obama on Monday. After that meeting, McCain said it would be catastrophic for Congress to reject a resolution on military action “not just for him but for the institution of the presidency and the credibility of the United States.”

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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