Washington D.C.After visiting the Jordan-Syria Border, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement on the situation in Syria:

“It now appears that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons to kill hundreds of Syrian civilians and the world must respond. The overall stability of the Middle East region and the security of our allies – including Turkey, Jordan, and Israel – are of critical importance to the security of the United States. Preventing al Qaeda from establishing a secure base of operations in Syria is vitally important to protecting the United States from terrorist attacks.

“In response, we should expand and accelerate our support for moderate elements of the opposition forces with both military and non-military aid. I also support efforts to help our regional allies cope with the wide range of spillover effects from the Syrian civil war. To be clear, I am not calling for an open-ended commitment to remove the Assad regime, but that does not mean we cannot act in a way that is consistent with our interests and values.

“We should be under no illusion that such aid will significantly influence the outcome of the struggle against Assad. But the Free Syrian Army exists and we must be better positioned to combat extremism. They can help us in the future, but only if we help them first. 

“Al Qaeda's presence in Syria is extremely disturbing - a similar presence in Yemen eventually led to attempted attacks on the United States. We must have allies in Syria who can help us prevent a similar occurrence there. Even if the Geneva 2 process succeeds, the collapse of the regime would result in a lengthy period of instability when we would need allies."

“I am still waiting to see what specifically the Administration and other involved partners have to say about a potential military strike, but I am concerned about how effective such an action could be and, above all else, I am worried that such action could drag the United States into a broader direct involvement in the conflict. 

“Military action could have significant consequences and there is no guarantee that it would improve the situation or promote a positive outcome. Any potential use of military force will have long-term costs and will put our troops in harm’s way.  Simply lashing out with military force under the banner of “doing something” will not secure our interests in Syria.”

 

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Date Title
4/28/16 Smith Statement on Passage of the FY2017 NDAA Out of Committee
4/28/16 Republicans Vote to Allow Confederate Flag to Fly at The Citadel
4/26/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on NDAA Funding
4/26/16 Military Letters Confirm Sage Grouse Protections Don’t Compromise Readiness, National Security
4/26/16 Smith, Scott, and Cummings Oppose NDAA Amendment to Reward Pervasive Violators of Employment, Non-Discrimination, and Safety Laws with New Government Contracts
4/25/16 Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act Chairman’s Mark Summary
4/25/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Congresswoman Gwen Graham’s Decision Not to Seek Reelection
4/15/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Excess DOD Infrastructure Study Files
4/14/16 Press Outlets: Sign Up to Receive NDAA Amendments Via Email
4/13/16 Smith, Thornberry Begin FY17 National Defense Authorization Process
Date Title
3/22/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Terror Attacks in Brussels
3/10/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Iran Missile Tests
3/3/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Iran Elections
Date Title
2/29/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Terror Attacks in Somalia
2/23/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on President’s Plan to Close Guantanamo
2/9/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Defense Budget Proposal
2/2/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Afghanistan Hearing
Date Title
1/22/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Terror Attacks in Burkina Faso and Somalia
1/14/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Nomination of General Joseph Votel
1/7/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement at Hearing Discussing Acquisition Reform
1/6/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on North Korea
Date Title
12/10/15 Ranking Member Smith and Ranking Member Speier Statement on Release of Oversight and Investigations Report
12/3/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on Secretary Carter’s Announcement to Open All Combat Positions to Women
12/1/15 Ranking Member Smith Statement at Hearing Examining U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq
Date Title
11/25/15 Ranking Member Smith Statement on President Signing 2016 National Defense Authorization Act