Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich believes the deployment of American troops in Jordan — which was announced Wednesday — brings the United States "immeasurably" closer to being dragged into the civil war in Syria.
"I can see in a moment how it happens: we're a few dozen miles from the Syrian border and all of a sudden we are within the reach of physical danger. All it takes is a single incident," Kucinich said in a phone interview with U.S. News.
The Ohio congressman complained that the commander-in-chief sent the troops to Jordan "without notifying Congress." Ironically, Kucinich noted, the Obama administration announced the deployment exactly ten years after the House of Representatives authorized President George W. Bush to invade Iraq.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta disclosed on Wednesday that over 100 American troops had been sent to near the Jordanian border with Syria.
"As we've said before, we have been planning for various contingencies, both unilaterally and with our regional partners," explained Pentagon spokesman George Little in a statement reported by The Associated Press.
The AP reports that the U.S. troops will be working on "increased cooperation and more detailed planning" in response to the Syrian conflict.
Kucinich, however, doesn't see the necessity of sending troops. "Putting U.S. troops on that border draws the U.S. much closer to war in Syria, which is a nightmare already and can be more of a nightmare for our country," he said. "The talk of stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons ... that's an argument for making an effort to try to lessen the violence, not intensify it."
"There's a trail of causality here," Kucinich added. "Once you position U.S troops on the border of a conflict area, it immeasurably increases the possibility of the U.S. getting drawn into the conflict — because we're there."
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Steven Nelson writes for U.S. News & World Report. Follow him on Twitter.