Democratic Sen. Manchin not on board with Obama’s $500 million Syria request


Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he has "a lot of problems" with President Obama's $500 million request to train and equip Syrian rebel forces. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

At least one Democratic senator isn't on board with President Obama's request for $500 million to train and equip Syrian opposition forces.

"The request for $500 million: I have a lot of problems with that ... and I for one would not support that unless I would see other facts that prove me wrong," Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Manchin said money and boots on the ground aren't the answer in either Syria or neighboring Iraq, where ISIS extremists are making significant territorial gains.

"If military might or money would have solved that problem in that part of the world, and we could have made it better, we'd have done it by now," Manchin said. "You're not going to change that. They are determined to have sectarian war, to have civil war."

Manchin said he would be in favor of military action if it was proved that foes in either country were threatening the United States. But he also noted that Saddam Hussein was billed as a major threat under false pretenses.

"I don't support further aggression from our — from the United States — troops or our people being over there any other way, shape or form, because the Iraqis have to take care of this themselves," Manchin said.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · June 29