Inhofe on Sequestration and Syria: Obama 'Can't Have It Both Ways'

Jeffrey Meyer
By Jeffrey Meyer | September 10, 2013 | 2:16 PM EDT

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has been an outspoken critic of any U.S. involvement in Syria, but wants to ensure that if military action is taken, our troops are protected. In a speech on the Senate floor on September 9, Senator Inhofe introduced an amendment that would delay military sequestration for one year if the Congress and President Obama approve a strike in Syria.

Citing cuts to U.S. military resources on the air, sea, and ground, Inhofe argued that "We can't have it both ways: continue to cut the funding of our military while still expecting it to meet our national security requirements. As military readiness and capabilities decline, we accept greater risk and, as I've always said. risk equals lives." Inhofe continued by saying that continuing with military cuts while sending our troops into harm's way is "immoral and reprehensible."

There is no such thing as "limited war" Inhofe suggested as he reiterated his opposition to U.S. involvement in Syria, but said that if we are to engage our troops they should not be subjected to harsh cuts via sequestration.

Currently, 64 percent of Americans oppose U.S. intervention in Syria; a sentiment Senator Inhofe passionately reiterated during his speech Monday. The DOD estimates that over 75,000 troops will be needed to secure Syria's chemical weapons, so Inhofe may be correct in arguing that our involvement will not be a "limited war."

Will members of Congress agree that sending our troops into battle while, at the same time, cutting their funding is not morally acceptable? For Democrats who support the military cuts, will they stand with Obama and potentially send troops into Syria and maintain those cuts? Only time will tell.