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TODAY   |  August 26, 2013

Sen. Corker: We need to respond to Syria attacks

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee weighs in on potential U.S. military action against the Syrian government, saying the Obama administration believes Syria used chemical weapons and the U.S. should respond “proportionally,” without getting involved on the ground.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> of tennessee is the ranking member on the foreign relations committee . good morning to you.

>> good morning, savannah, good to be with you.

>> good to be with you as well. my first question is is u.s. credibility really on the line here? if your mind, is military action now required? no longer an option?

>> well, savannah, i do think that the administration feels like that there's no question chemicals were used. i think they're rallying support around our nato allies. hopefully they'll come to congress with an authorization as soon as we get back. i think action is going to occur. we realized recently that the un inspectors aren't looking to see who is to blame with these gases. they're only looking to see if it actually occurred.

>> i believe we are talking about military action . you have suggested what you call the surgical and proportional strike. i would like to have you elaborate on that. are you imagining something simply to send a message or deyou are td deter or involvement that would radically alter the military situation on the ground?

>> i do think we should continue the policy put in place now and that is to support the opposition on the ground. i don't think our strike ought to be something that tries to alter that dynamic. i think it should be surgical. it should be proportional. it should be in response to what has happened with the chemicals. but the fact is, i don't want us to get involved in such a way that we change that dynamic on the ground.

>> isn't that the tricky part of it, though? even the chairman of the joint chiefs said in the past that deeper involvement is hard to avoid. it's hard to dip your toe into this conflict without getting mired more deeply into it in a way that's hard to get out of.

>> yeah, i think savannah you're hitting on that fine point, and that is certainly a red line for us has been the use of chemicals against people. that has occurred. we need to obviously respond to that but i don't want us to change our overall policy and i think getting that right -- and there's a way of doing that. i know the administration is working on that. i talked to the situation room last night. i think we can get that right without us getting mired in a conflict that obviously is not something we want to do.

>>> senator bob corker . also good to get your perspective, sir.