WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said he would support limited U.S. involvement in Syria.
Manchin called Syrian leaders’ use of chemical weapons on their own people “unacceptable in any way, shape or form, but on the other hand are we responsible as a nation to be the gatekeeper for the world?”
Manchin, who spoke to MetroNews Thursday from the annual West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Business Summit at the Greenbrier Resort, said it’s the Arab League that should be leading the way with the response to Syria.
“We should be there to support them to clean up their own neighborhood. Whether we take control and jump in there, it just makes more of an adversarial relationship we have with the Arab world, I would be very reluctant to do that.”
Manchin has been outspoken during his time in the Senate about U.S. involvement in the Middle East. He has called for troops to be taken out of Afghanistan on more than one occasion. He said Thursday sending troops into Syria is not part of his discussion.
“I’m not for boots on the ground in any way, shape or form. The (military) strike should basically be a supportive strike that’s led by the Arab League,” Manchin reiterated.
The senator said the U.S. should consider non-military solutions.
“We can support, and should support, humanitarian aid and humane treatment of all people anywhere in the world,” Manchin said. “There are many things we can do, but going in and taking the lead is not one of them and not one we have done well.”
Manchin concluded he would have to learn a lot more about the situation before he would ever support a preemptive strike.