Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN.) on Monday spoke at the Nashville Rotary Club. The following are excerpts from his remarks:
“The President has asked Congress to authorize a limited military strike in Syria.
“I will vote ‘no’ because of too much uncertainty about what comes next. After step A, what will be steps B, C, D and E? I see too much risk that the strike will do more harm than good by setting off a chain of consequences that could involve American fighting men and women in another long-term Middle East conflict. There should be other ways, more appropriate to America’s vital national security interests, to discourage and show our disgust with the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical weapons on its own people.”
Immediately following President Obama’s remarks on Syria on Aug. 31, Senator Alexander participated by telephone in a briefing with Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Over the weekend the senator discussed the proposed strike by telephone with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.