Gen. Hayden: Strikes in Syria ‘could fail’

Updated
Syrian refugees, fleeing the violence in their country, cross the border into the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq on Sept. 4, 2013.
Syrian refugees, fleeing the violence in their country, cross the border into the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq on Sept. 4, 2013.
Haider Ala/Reuters

Despite the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s approval of a resolution to use force in Syria, possible American action could fail, Ret. Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday on Morning Joe.

“We’re doing this to show our resolve…we’re going to show they can’t get away with this action,” said the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency. “They’re going to want to show—after we act—that these kinds of actions on our part are not cost-free, so we should expect some kind of response from them.”

The Senate committee passed the resolution with a 10-7 vote Wednesday. The full Senate and then the House of Representatives will decide on the action after Sept. 9.

“This is the least worst option we now have,” Hayden said. “It would be near catastrophic, I think, for American influence in the world for the American Congress not to support this.”

A strike will be effective to degrade and deter the Syrian use of chemical weapons in the future, but fundamentally it won’t affect Assad’s ability to carry out similar actions; there needs to be a change in his mentality and willingness.

The United States must manage the transition in Syria, but interference has been “hands-off” for too long, Hayden said. The Syrian opposition can’t be trusted.

“Success is changing their willingness to use these weapons in the future,” he said. “Success is certainly not guaranteed, is it?”

(Watch more on Morning Joe):

Gen. Hayden: Strikes in Syria 'could fail'

Updated