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Congressman Eric Swalwell

Representing the 15th District of California

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Swalwell votes against arming Syrian rebels

September 17, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15), a Member of the Homeland Security Committee, today released the following statement after voting “no” on the McKeon Amendment to authorize the arming and training of Syrian rebels:

“ISIL is a serious, growing threat to the Middle East and potentially, our homeland.  To defeat ISIL, I support U.S. led airstrikes and the building of a real, substantive coalition of regional allies who will stand up to defend their own countries and existence.  I do not support putting substantial U.S. resources in, and betting the house on, unproven "moderate” Syrian fighters.  Over the course of U.S. military history, this proxy-war approach has had disastrous results and no evidence in this case has convinced me the result would be any different.

"We will only succeed in defeating ISIL if we lead a coalition of regional allies who have real skin in the game.  So far, there are too many regional allies surrounding ISIL who are not willing to do enough of what is needed to achieve victory.  It makes little sense, and will cost too much, to put our resources behind training and equipping untested Syrian fighters, mired in a civil war of their own, in the hope that they will re-direct their efforts toward ISIL.  It's time for our allies to step up and I support the President in his efforts to work with them to do so.”