LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A Louisville native who rose to the top of the U.S. Air Force as a Brigadier General is talking to us about a possible air strike.
Brig. Gen. Rob Givens has moved back home as he retires this weekend from the U.S. Air Force's Central Command. He flew in the first aerial raids on Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm in 1990.
President Barack Obama is now saying that the U.S. is certain that the Syrian government carried out a large scale chemical attack on its own people, killing hundreds of men, women and children. With pressure to act, Brig. Gen. Givens says Obama is taking time to consider the implications of retaliation.
United Nations inspectors are in Syria now, investigating the attack. The U.S., in the meantime, is gearing up around the world to be ready the instant President Obama decides on a plan of action. “They’re probably very busy. Those folks who are preparing for the possibility of any type of conflict or strike on Syria, are going to be making sure their equipment is ready, that they’re ready, and all the details are managed and nothing is left to chance,” explained Givens.
Obama has called the attack, which he believes was ordered by the Syrian government, a moral atrocity that cannot go unanswered. “Well, I think that everybody is very saddened by the situation,” said Givens. “Certainly any time you see a people that are going to war with each other in their own country, and the devastation, loss of life on both sides, is significant.”
But, the president is not interested in an open-ended conflict with Syria. Syria, for its part, blames the attack on insurgents. The United Nations is asking for more time to investigate.
“I think it’s important to remember though that the president has been very thoughtful and deliberate in his decision making and has certainly listened to the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey, who has recommended prudence as we try and sort through the opposing sides and who’s where and who’s doing what,” Givens explained.
Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations is calling for Obama to provide evidence that links the government to the attack…that presentation could come as soon as tomorrow. Many lawmakers want the president to get Congressional approval before he takes any action.