Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said in a letter to lawmakers that using armed intervention in Syria would pose risks and cost the U.S. billions of dollars, CNN reported Monday.
Jamie Crawford writes the missive was in response to a call from Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. John McCain for Dempsey to provide various scenarios for a possible U.S. military involvement in the Syrian conflict.
“I know that the decision to use force is not one that any of us takes lightly,” Dempsey wrote, adding that “it is no less than an act of war.”
Dempsey told the lawmakers that imposing a no-fly zone around Syria would cost as much as $1 billion per month and may result in the loss of U.S. planes.
He added the U.S. would need thousands of ground forces to establish buffer areas to protect critical sites and control the proliferation of chemical weapons.
“Risks are similar to the no-fly zone with the added problem of regime surface fires into the zones, killing more refugees due to their concentration,” he said.