Voting ‘No,’ TN Senator Says ‘Random Military Strike’ In Syria Won’t Help U.S. Credibility

In a nod to worries a strike against Syria could escalate regionally, Alexander says "we don't know what the reaction will be." He prefers a focus on shaming Syrian backers in Russia and Iran. Credit WPLN/Daniel Potter

In a nod to worries a strike against Syria could escalate regionally, Alexander says “we don’t know what the reaction will be.” He prefers a focus on shaming Syrian backers in Russia and Iran. Credit WPLN/Daniel Potter

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says he’ll vote against the president’s call to strike Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack there last month.  Alexander says the administration’s proposed strike risks doing more harm than good, and the outcome is too uncertain.

Alexander was asked whether U.S. credibility is hurt without an attack on Syria for crossing what the president called a “red line.”  Alexander answered American credibility is not helped by taking what he called a “random military strike.”

“America’s credibility is better served by following the Colin Powell Doctrine, which is have a specific and clear objective related to a vital military interest, number one.  Number two, assemble an overwhelming force.  And number three, have the stomach to see it all the way through to the end.  I don’t think any of those characteristics fits this proposed military strike.”

Alexander’s announcement came hours after he was criticized for being silent on the matter by Joe Carr, a Republican primary challenger.  Asked whether Carr’s attack played into his decision at all, Alexander said only, “he can say whatever he wants.”

Alexander’s stance puts him opposite his fellow Tennessee Senator and Republican, Bob Corker, who has pushed to step up involvement in Syria for months.

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