Kerry, Hagel Push Senate to Authorize Strikes on Syria

Beat the drums of war, but leave the "boots" at home


The Obama administration's longtime sceptics of a Syria strike have reversed their position, defense secretary Chuck Hagel testified to the Senate on Tuesday.

Hagel, a former senator and a Vietnam combat veteran, put aside his previous hesitations about another entanglement in the Middle East and told the Senate foreign relations committee that President Obama's "entire national security team" asked themselves "tough questions, before we concluded that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets".

"The answer to whether I support additional support to the moderate [Syrian] opposition is yes," testified US army general Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who has long warned about the dangers of US intervention in the Syrian conflict.