U.S. Sen. Johnson speaks out on Syria

Published 09/05 2013 03:38PM

Updated 09/05 2013 07:18PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)--While President Obama may be one step closer to receiving Congressional approval to take military action is Syria after a 10-7 vote Wednesday from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says he’s still unconvinced.

“The President really hasn’t done anything about what I do consider a very serious issue in terms of America’s national security,” said Sen. Johnson.

Nearly 2-million people in the last 12 months have fled Syria and while Senator Johnson acknowledges there’s a serious concern for the safety of Syrian citizens, he’s more concerned about chemical weapons.

“One of the rationales and reasons for going to war is to make sure those chemical weapons and stock piles don’t get transferred to elements of terrorist groups. I’m really afraid that ineffective action is worse than no action at all,” said Sen. Johnson.

Over the last few days Senator Johnson has received hundreds of phone calls, emails, and letters from constituents, 98% of them he says are against taking action. 

“America is war weary.  That’s why there’s such a huge negative reaction to entanglement in civil war,” he tells Local 5 News.

But it’s not just the American public President Obama will have to convince, The Senate Foreign Relations committee wants to see that there’s a coordinated international effort on whoever replaces Assad.  

But Sen. Johnson says the President needs more international support.

“If you’re going to take military action why won’t you tailor your military reaction to at least achieve the question I ask is it because we don’t know who to take his place and I’m afraid that’s the answer.”

And while President Obama has promised to not place boots on the ground, Sen. Johnson tells us he fears that's not a promise that the president cannot keep--one more reason why he'll continue to vote against military action in Syria.


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