Sunday, September 8, 2013

Denis McDonough On Syria: 'This Is Not Iraq And Afghanistan'

WASHINGTON -- White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said Sunday that it's too early to say whether there are enough votes in Congress to authorize an intervention in Syria, and he attempted to make the case for why members should get behind the president.

"This is not Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not Libya, a sustained air campaign," McDonough said on "Fox News Sunday." "This is not boots on the ground. This is a targeted effort to reinforce a prohibition that goes back nearly 100 years. A prohibition that has benefited our troops greatly, by the way."

McDonough appeared on all five major Sunday shows to make the administration's case for use of force against Syria after, it claims, that country's president, Bashar Assad, killed thousands of people using chemical weapons.

Although Obama opted to go to Congress to authorize an attack on Syria, the president has not entirely ruled out acting without lawmakers' go-ahead. McDonough also declined on "Fox News Sunday" to do so, and wouldn't give a straight answer on whether the administration has the votes.

"I think it's too early to come to any conclusions" about whether Congress will authorize the attacks, he said.

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