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U.S. Navy moves closer to Syria

By Robert Burns

AP National Security Writer

LAST UPDATED: 04:12 p.m. HST, Aug 23, 2013

ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT OVER THE PACIFIC » The Pentagon is moving naval forces closer to Syria in preparation for a possible decision by President Barack Obama to order military strikes, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel suggested today.

Hagel declined to describe any specific movements of U.S. forces. He said Obama asked that the Pentagon to prepare military options for Syria and that some of those options "requires positioning our forces."

U.S. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military action, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, as they did against Libya in 2011 as part of an international action that led to the overthrow of the Libyan government.

"The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for contingencies, and that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options — whatever options the president might choose," Hagel said.

He said the U.S. is coordinating with the international community to determine "what exactly did happen" in the reported use by the Syrian government of chemical weapons against civilians earlier this week.

"We're still assessing that," he said.

Hagel said a determination on the chemical attack should be made swiftly because "there may be another attack coming," although he added that "we don't know" whether that will happen.

Hagel said that although he is scheduled to spend the next week traveling in Southeast Asia, he will remain in contact with the White House about developments in Syria and planning for potential U.S. action.

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SteveToo wrote:
Crazy Muslims killing Crazy Muslims seems like a no-brainer for us. Stay out of it Mr. O.
on August 23,2013 | 04:36PM
Grimbold wrote:
Muslims rebels who blow themselves up would even poison gas their own children if it helps their cause. They were loosing the war. They desperately want to blame the poison gas thing on Assad. Assad is no fool . Why would he use poison gas - which serves no military purpose - when he was already winning the war? He knows that would be his end, because Obama vowed that is the RED LINE. But the rebels are loosing if there is no poison gas attack. So who used poison gas? Obviously only the rebels had a reason to do it. It would be a horrible decision to interfere and help the Islamists who are our worst enemy. Just like Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction , but Israel and our governments influential Jewish advisers deceived us . Will we fall for it again?
on August 23,2013 | 07:03PM
Mythman wrote:
Try to remember the harsh words of Pres O when he orders attacks on Syria he pronounced against Pres Bush for taking actions in Iraq and Afgan etc.
on August 23,2013 | 04:56PM
allie wrote:
unlike the silly, slow-witted Bush, Obama is not sending foot soldiers to be tied down for years in a disastrous losing war.
on August 23,2013 | 05:04PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Just an FYI that my friend, who is a foot soldier, was sent to Afghanistan by Barry within the past four months. In fact I have had more friends deployed over there since Barry was elected as opposed to the prior president.
on August 23,2013 | 05:25PM
honokai wrote:
President Bush was authorized by Congress to use the Armed Forces "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" in order to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; Majorities of both parties sanctioned this war. And the mainstream media was absent. As far as the WMD ploy behind the thing, it is still unclear whether Clinton's attack on the Al-Shifa facility in Sudan was justified. The same WMD type of justification was used. Back in those days, it was much easier to just make stuff up on the ground in faraway places in Africa. The tactic of just making things failed miserably in Benghazi. The bottom line is that we need to look at our foreign policy from a non-partisan perspective. Political discussion regarding making one guy better than an other because of their party is a distraction and is not supported by historical events.
on August 23,2013 | 05:35PM
Ratrase wrote:
Another tar baby we gonna punch.
on August 23,2013 | 06:20PM
krusha wrote:
They better do something or the US will be seen as just a paper tiger with all talk no bite. Even Russia is caving in on their reluctance to do nothing, so this may be another operation similar to what they did in Libya.
on August 23,2013 | 06:24PM
Grimbold wrote:
I smell a foul rat: The rebels staged the gas attack, so they would be helped by us.
on August 23,2013 | 07:05PM
SteveToo wrote:
Who cares if radical Muslims are killing radical Muslims? Same goes for Sunnis killing Shiites in Iraq.
on August 23,2013 | 09:28PM
sailfish1 wrote:
How many wars does the U.S. want to get involved in and never win? All we do is get our soldiers killed, give multi-billions of money away, and then end up with ungrateful countries that end up as our enemies.
on August 23,2013 | 10:27PM
Ratrase wrote:
Answer: every one since WWII.
on August 24,2013 | 08:35AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Stay out of it!!! Let them weed themselves out of life's equation! We have our own issues to tend to. Losers killing losers let them wipe themselves out.
on August 24,2013 | 12:59AM
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