McCain attaches strings to support of Obama's plan

9/3/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Obama-US-Syria-4

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., leave the White House in Washington, Monday following a closed-door meeting with President Obama to discuss the situation with Syria.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., leave the White House in Washington, Monday following a closed-door meeting with President Obama to discuss the situation with Syria.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., leave the White House in Washington, Monday following a closed-door meeting with President Obama to discuss the situation with Syria.

WASHINGTON  — Sen. John McCain says he will support President Obama’s request to intervene in Syria if the move would “reverse the situation on the battlefield.”

McCain tells NBC’s “Today” show it isn’t sufficient to merely send a strong message to President Bashar Assad with a limited-range response. McCain says a resolution of intervention must include authority to degrade Syria’s air defenses. The Arizona Republican says “it’s an unfair fight” on the ground and that Assad has the upper hand.

McCain says if the authorization doesn’t change the balance of power and give the rebels a fighting chance, then it “will not have the desired effect.”

He says he supports giving Obama authority to act against Assad but that he “cannot support something that might be doomed in the long run.”