Oklahoma Congressman Bridenstine Not Sold On U.S. Action In Syria

Tuesday, September 3rd 2013, 5:16 pm
By: Craig Day

During a town hall meeting at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, 1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine addressed a lot of issues, including border security, the Presidents' health care overhaul, and taxes.

As he took questions from the audience, one was more of a statement than a question: "Stay away from Syria quagmire, please oppose any action in Syria."

Right now, Bridenstine opposes action in Syria, at least, he says, until more questions are answered by President Barack Obama.

"So far, what I haven't seen from this President is him define for us, what is our national security interest in Syria?" Bridenstine.

Bridenstine said the use of military force should be selective, based on America's national security interests. He also wants to know how launching a limited cruise missile strike in Syria would accomplish any strategic objectives.

"If you want to show strength, you don't lob some cruise missiles and then skate out of the Mediterranean, which is what this President is advocating," Bridenstine said.

Bridenstine is a former Navy combat pilot who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

The first-term Congressman said he wants to hear more justification from President Obama for any action involving Syria.

Many in the audience agreed.

"What we're doing now doesn't do us any good, we go over there and drop a few missiles and turn around and go home, so I'm against it," said Bill Gillespie.

"The President is not interested in changing the direction of the war, he's just interested in sending a signal that you shouldn't use chemical weapons, which is a good message to send," Bridenstine said. "But if you look at the humanitarian crisis around the world, we'd be sending a lot of cruise missiles a lot of places."

Congressman Bridenstine said lawmakers and the President should also consider what's in the best interest of Israel, our strongest ally in the region, and whether U.S. military action would make it more stable or less stable for Israel.

Senator Jim Inhofe's office told us late Tuesday afternoon that, at this time, the Senator would vote against any military action.