- Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:42
- Published on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:39
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Senator Tim Kaine, meeting with officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren last week, said the U.S. must deal with Syria now that President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people.
Touring the NSWC base and meeting with NSWC officials at the University of Mary Washington’s Dahlgren Campus, the first term U.S. Senator said Syria has clearly crossed President Obama’s so-called red line with the use of chemical weapons which killed a reported 1,500 Syrian citizens.
“This is an intolerable step and a desperate one by the Assad regime,” Kaine said. He said the United States must take action “in concert with other nations.” Arguing that America has a moral responsibility to act in response to the chemical weapons release, President Obama is seeking Congress’ approval to take military action in Syria.
Kaine and other members of the House and Senate are scheduled to return from their August recess on Sept. 9 and will begin debate on whether or not the U.S. should get involved in the Syrian conflict. Kaine, who serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees is expected to be active in the debate.
Kaine said America’s military and the Pentagon will be forced to deal with the budget impact of the sequestration in their planning for any attack on Syria. “The sequester certainly affects the kinds of options they will be able to put on the table,” said Kaine, who has a son, Nat, who serves in the Marine Corps.
“They will get the job done,” Kaine said. But, he said, the sequestration is taking a toll on America’s military in terms of budget cuts and personnel furloughs caused by the budget cuts. Military leaders need to be able to focus on their mission and preparing for the next military threat rather than dealing with the problems caused by the sequester.
“I voted against the sequester,” Kaine said. “And, as a member of the Budget Committee I am committed to finding a budget solution that will eliminate the impact of the sequester on our military.”
“We can’t afford to let budget stupidity keep us from being proactive about some of these challenges,” Kaine said.
While at Mary Washington, Kaine met with Dahlgren District Supervisor Ruby Brabo and several members of the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation to discuss the plans for a private-public partnership to develop a military museum dedicated to the history of the Dahlgren NSWC facility, which the Navy has operated since 1918.
The foundation is raising private funds and hopes to open a museum, with exhibits about NSWC’s history in Dahlgren, at the former Gateway Welcome Center on US 301 near the bridge to Maryland before the end of the year.