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PENTAGON OFFICIALS DEFEND PLAN TO SEND MORE SPECIAL FORCES TO SYRIA – 28 Apr – (excerpt) Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, said he believes that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force is not enough to justify deploying combat forces into Syria.
“U.S. action in Iraq against ISIL is at the invitation of the Iraqi government, so there is clear international legal justification of all our activities in Iraq,” Kaine said. “I’m sorry to say this but there is also international legal justification for Russian military activity in Syria because Russia has been invited in by the sovereign government of Syria.
“But what I struggle with is how can we criticize the Russian incursion into Ukrainian sovereignty when we are carrying out and now escalating military operations in Syria without the permission and really even against the will of the sovereignty of that nation?” he asked.
Carter said that he agreed with Kaine that a new authorization for the use of force in Syria would be appropriate “because it would signify to the troops that the country is behind them.”
“I am told by the lawyers, and I believe this, that the legal basis for what we are doing exists in both domestic law and international law,” Carter said. “I will say ‘if there is a difference in what we are doing in Syria and what the Russians are doing in the Ukraine is we are trying to fight real terrorists, we are not trying to destabilize a stable situation.'”
Ashton Carter, United States Secretary of Defense.
General Joseph Dunford, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair.
Testimony on Counter-ISIL Efforts
U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee: April 28 2016
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