WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin released a statement Thursday afternoon saying a military strike against Syria would be the wrong course of action.
Manchin said he reached his decision after a week full of listening to many people on the issue including state residents, Obama administration officials and military experts.
The senator released the following statement:
“The decision to use U.S. military force is one of the most serious decisions I have ever made. Over the past few weeks I have heard the concerns from thousands of West Virginians on the situation in Syria. This past week, I have attended hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which I am a member, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committees, of which I am not a member, to hear Secretaries Hagel and Kerry, and General Dempsey testify. I have attended classified briefings by the Administration, and have met with national security and foreign policy experts from the leading think tanks and universities around the country. I have spoken with current and former military and administration officials. I sought out as much information as possible, so I could be sure that I had a complete understanding of the situation in Syria, and our strategic plan.
“Given the case that has been presented to me, I believe that a military strike against Syria at this time is the wrong course of action. In good conscience, I cannot support the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s resolution and will be working with my colleagues and the administration to develop other options. I believe that we must exhaust all diplomatic options and have a comprehensive plan for international involvement before we act.”