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Pentagon Frustrated on Syria

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Exasperated by Lack of WH Direction on Syria

• June 8, 2012 9:20 am

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The Obama administration’s curious policy regarding the ongoing massacre of women and children in Syria has U.S. military planners in a bind, the Pentagon’s top military officer said Thursday.

The Hill reports that Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that planning for a potential military option for Syria has been complicated by the White House’s lack of focus on the issue.

"Tell me that following that regime change [in Syria] you want me to restore order, do nation building [or] stability operations and I know what that looks like," Dempsey said during a briefing at the Pentagon. …

But the four-star general said the Pentagon is not getting that kind of clear-cut direction from the White House, and that is affecting how department officials prepare for whatever contingency may arise in Syria.

"I have to know what the outcome is. You tell me what the outcome is, I can build you a plan to achieve that outcome," Dempsey said. "I can't build that plan unless I understand the outcome."

Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) have slammed the administration for its handling of the Syrian crisis. McCain lamented that the White House continues to offer "hollow pledges that the killing must stop [and] more strained expressions of amazement at what has become so tragically commonplace."

The Atrocities Prevention Board could not be reached for comment.