By Debbie Gregory.
General Martin E. Dempsey is the 18th and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As chairman, Dempsey is currently the highest-ranking military officer in all of the United States Armed Forces. General Dempsey serves as the principle military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council.
General Dempsey had a run in last week with Arizona Senator John McCain during a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. McCain may block Dempsey’s reappointment.
Senator McCain and General Dempsey had a disagreement regarding military intervention in the Syrian civil war. Senator McCain was asking the Pentagon to assess possible scenarios of U. S. military intervention in Syria.
General Dempsey expressed concern that any force could be considered an act of war. He also was concerned about the cost of a no-fly zone over Syria. It would cost around $500 million to establish, and more than a billion dollars per month to maintain.
General Dempsey also stressed the fact that he serves the President.
In May, it was reported that the Obama administration had asked the Pentagon to begin planning for a Syrian no-fly zone. The request was timed to coincide with Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip to the Middle East.
The Obama administration instructed the Joint Chiefs of Staff to plan multilateral military action according to the Daily Beast.
The Pentagon has given Congress its first detailed list of U.S. military options regarding Syria. General Dempsey expressed concerns regarding the cost and other risks, should the United States get involved. Dempsey said it could lead to “unintended consequences”.
Syrian-Turkish relations have been strained. The friction has been due to disputes such as the 1939 self-annexation of the Hatay Province to Turkey.
Syria’s civil war is breaking Turkey’s frail peace with the Kurds. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) a pro-government Kurdish group in Syria, has taken control of Ras al-Ain, a town on Syria’s northern border with Turkey. Turkey has stated that it will not tolerate this development.
American soldiers are on their way to precariously close locations to the Turkish-Syrian border. Four hundred U.S. soldiers are being sent to man the anti-missile batteries along the Turkish-Syrian border. Whether it truly is for defensive purposes, or for an impending conflict, there are a few issues that should be discussed beforehand.