Boozman: Diplomatic Efforts In Syria Are A Move In The Right Direction

Sep 11, 2013

As United States officials work with the United Nations to craft a resolution that would put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says the way forward is still uncertain. 

U.S. Senator John Boozman, Republican

In an interview with KASU in Jonesboro, Boozman admitted President Barack Obama has no good choices in his standoff with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“If you hit them hard [with airstrikes] and you destabilize the regime, there is no guarantee that the group that would take over would really be any better than [Assad] and I think you would have a really good chance of Syria winding up like Libya,” Boozman said. “If you just slap [the Assad government] on the wrist, then I think that shows weakness and is not a good situation.”

Boozman says, at this point, he still strongly believes that the U.S. should stay out of the conflict altogether, but he is hopeful Obama Administration officials can work with their Russian counterparts to diffuse the situation so teams of inspectors can destroy Syria’s cache of chemical weapons. 

Getting Syria to relinquish its stockpiles of poison  gas will not be easy, according to Boozman. However, he recognizes that the threat of military action by President Obama made a difference in getting Russia to urge Assad to change course.

"The world was not with going with the United States in an attack... perhaps [these new developments] are something," Boozman said. "Working with the Russians is difficult. They have not been very helpful lately[on other matters]."

Boozman says the U.S. should not get involved with any sort of direct military action right now, because the use of missiles against the Assad regime could be considered an act of war. 

He says use of force in Iraq and Afghanistan has taught the American people that it is easy to get involved in foreign entanglements, but hard to get out.