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September 18, 2014

King Supports Administration’s Request to Train & Equip Syrian Opposition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, voted in favor of a Continuing Resolution that authorizes the Department of Defense to train and equip vetted elements of the Syrian opposition in the fight against ISIL. Senator King explained his vote in a floor speech delivered earlier in the day, in which he also outlined his broader thoughts on the Administration’s strategy.

“One of the most fundamental purposes listed in the preamble is to provide for the Common Defense and ensure Domestic Tranquility. This is why we’re having this debate today,” Senator King said. “This arming and equipping provision is not a panacea. It is not going to end the war. It is not going to be easy. It is no sure thing. …[I]t is the least worst option. It is one that we must undertake. It has to be part of the solution because to root out ISIS, whose headquarters is in Syria – not Iraq, there are going to have to be troops. …Where are those troops going to come from? Not from the United States. They have to come from within the Syrian opposition itself.”

To watch Senator King’s remarks click HERE and to download broadcast-quality video click HERE.

In the rest of his remarks, Senator King emphasized the need for the United States to build a true regional coalition to combat ISIL, for the Prime Minister of Iraq to lead a new government that is inclusive of the Sunni minority, for the United States to develop a more long-term strategy to fundamentally root out extremism, and for Congress to exercise its Constitutional responsibility to debate and take a vote on providing the President with the authority to broaden the campaign against ISIL.


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