(NBC News) All votes about Syria on hold now that President Bashar Assad has agreed to turn over its chemical weapons, but President Obama wants to keep warships in the Mediterranean for now ready to strike at any moment. Russia is urging him to back off.
President Obama says until we know for sure that Syria is going to hand over its chemical weapons, our military needs to stay ready.
The President says he may still send missiles to destroy Syria's chemical weapons capability... If Russia's plan to get rid of them doesn't work. "Sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough," said President Barack Obama
Russia is blocking a United Nations resolution that leaves open the possibility of a military strike. "The Russians and the Syrians don't have a great track record of following through," said Rep. Scott Rigell, (R) Virginia.
"We need to really make it happen," said Rep. John Garamandi, (D) California.
The President argues military force affects our own security because chemical weapons not destroyed could be used on our allies and possibly U.S. troops. "Other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them," said the President.
Republicans criticized the U.S. response as haphazard and embarrassing. "We fail to see a national security interest in a war between a leader who gasses his own citizens," said Senator Rand Paul, (R) Kentucky.
He and others say they'll vote no if the President pushes for airstrikes. "The support is just not there and that means we have to find other options," said Senator Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia.
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