No Fly Zone Over Syria an Act of War, Gen. Dempsey Warns
Obama administration has signaled it is ready to intervene militarily
July 23, 2013
Following a run-in last week with Arizona Senator John McCain during a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff boss Gen. Martin Dempsey said on Monday U.S. involvement in Syria will cost billions.
“I know that the decision to use force is not one that any of us takes lightly,” Dempsey said in a letter to Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It is no less than an act of war.”
Dempsey’s letter was sent in response to a request by Levin and McCain to have the Pentagon assess possible scenarios of U.S. military intervention in the Syria civil war.
A no-fly zone imposed over Syria would cost around $500 million to establish and more than a billion per month to maintain, Dempsey said.
“A limited no-fly zone coupled with U.S. ground forces would push the costs over $1 billion per month,” he wrote. “Risks are similar to the no-fly zone with the added problem of regime surface fires into the zones, killing more refugees due to their concentration. The zones could also become operational bases for extremists.”