Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday that
he couldn’t support U.S. military action in Syria unless President Barack Obama “presents to Congress his broader strategy in the region that addresses our national security interests and the budget to support it.”
Inhofe said, “President Obama has decimated our military beginning with his first budget four and a half years ago. He has underfunded overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund, reduced base defense budget, and put into motion sequestration.
“Our military has no money left. Will the President pay for this operation with more furloughs and by grounding squadrons again? By continuing to raid the already underfunded base defense budget, Administration Obama further undermines future military readiness and capabilities.
Inhofe said the situation in Syria is “abominable as thousands upon thousands of innocent children and families are being murdered while millions more are being driven from their homes.”
But he said, “The United States should also not consider a strategy without thoroughly consulting and heeding the advice of our partners in the region, which include Israel, Jordan and Turkey. It is vital we avoid shortsighted military action that would have little impact on the long-term trajectory of the conflict. We can’t simply launch a few missiles and hope for the best.”
Meanwhile, Reps. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, and Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, signed on to a letter urging Obama to consult Congress before taking action in Syria. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, was an earlier signer of the letter, which was sponsored by Rep. Scott Rigell, a Virginia Republican. By late Wednesday afternoon, 116 House members, including many Democrats, had joined the letter, Rigell’s office said.