Senator Kaine tells college cadets how Syria will impact them

Posted at 12:32 PM, Sep 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-05 12:45:41-04

ETTRICK, Va. (WTVR) -- Senator Tim Kaine (D - Virginia) spoke to several ROTC cadets at Virginia State University Thursday about the difficulty in clearing the way to allow the use of force in Syria by the U.S. military.

Sen. Kaine, who had served of Virginia Governor and Richmond Mayor, must know tackle foreign policy in his new role as U.S. Senator.

Kaine, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted this week to support a military strike in Syria.

"It was a very hard vote and the vote in the committee was essentially 10 to 7," Sen. Kaine said.  "All of us wrestled with our vote."

The freshman senator assured the VSU cadets that the military action he favored would not by on the ground, rather by air. He said the action would punish Syrian leaders for their alleged use of chemical weapons against their own civilians.

"If we don't act as a global community to punish the use of chemical weapons and deter them from using them again, if we we don't act he (Syria president Bashar al-Assad) will continue to do it and it will get bigger and bigger and bigger," Sen. Kaine said.

But the big concern from the VSU cadets, including senior Antonio Pruden who has served overseas twice, was whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

"It's good we are talking and trying to communicate as far as what to do and not just jumping into a fight and things may not be as good as we thought," Pruden said.

President Barack Obama is still looking to Congress to back his push to launch a missile attack in Syria.  But in order for it to pass, it will require more than just the standard party-line vote.

Just recently Majority Leader and Republican Congressman Eric Cantor (R - Virginia) announced he would support the president's plan.

Congress could vote as early as next week.