TODAY   |  September 07, 2013

Obama seeks wider range of military options for Syria

As President Obama prepares to try to win support from congress and the American people for missile strikes against Syria, he's ordered the military to come up with new options to hit the Syrian military harder than originally planned. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports.

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>>> many americans are worried about striking syria for fear it could expand into a wider conflict. now, word that the pentagon could be increasing the target if it's given the go ahead for a strike. jim picks up that part of the story.

>> reporter: as president obama prepares this weekend to try to win support from congress and the american people for missile strikes against syria , he ordered the military to come up with other options, to hit harder than originally planned. they want to use long range bombers. b-2 stealth bombers flown all the way from missouri. b-52s from louisiana and b-1 bombers. all able to launch cruise missiles or gps guided bombs from long range, well outside syria 's antiaircraft defenses. the u.s. military has been ordered to come up with a longer list of targets. sending a tougher message to president bashir al assad, sitting on more than 1,000 tons of chemical weapons .

>> though he used more chemical weapons on august 21 than before, he's barely put a dent in his stockpile.

>> reporter: the u.s. navy has four guided missile destroyers in the mediterranean armed with 150 cruise missiles aimed at 50 military targets inside syria . t one on stand by in the red sea . they announced strategy for a limited attack that would diminish their chemical weapons capabilities would have no lasting impact and only draw the u.s. into a larger war.

>> this is probably not the last time the regime is going to use chemical warfare , no matter what we do.

>> reporter: the president's attempt at a harder line against syria has come under fire. military officials say it looks more like a political strategy than military