Kerry Defends Decision Not to Take Military Action in Syria

"Without dropping a bomb, the president got the best result possible, which is eliminating those chemical weapons from being used at all, getting them out of the country, altogether, in the middle of a conflict," said Secretary of State John Kerry.
4:17 | 01/06/17

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Transcript for Kerry Defends Decision Not to Take Military Action in Syria
And and I wanna go back Syrian I know you you'd you'd discuss this to you press conference yesterday but but the Red Line. And the fact that there were no. The put the president promised to enormous consequences. If Syria cross that red line and know that chemical weapons. Were eliminated from Syria. What should there have been greater consequences is that an enormous console. Claims the consequence of the bombing. Was intended of the potential bombing the announced bombing. Was to. Tell us this is unacceptable behavior don't do it and you need to live by the chemical weapons tree. Without dropping. The president got the best result possible which was eliminating those chemical weapons being used at all. Getting them out of the country altogether. In the middle of a conflict. In a way ultimately Martha. That prevent it. And un four seen event. From becoming an absolute catastrophe that is when that started moving across area. Imagine if those chemical weapons still been there and that no greater punishment. There should have been no greater punishment that's the but there's enormous consequence there is room for greater punishment. The bombing. Was intended not to quote. Just punish it was intended to deter it was intended to try to change behavior the behavior changed. For the most part not completely because he knew chemical weapon was introduced which is. Chlorine being mixed with the other ingredients which creates a different kind of weapon it's not on the same list. Of chemical weapons of those things have to be removed at that time. So there has been that continued bad behavior. And there have been some discussions within the administration about the way this is that. Bottom line. The immediate objective was to eliminate the threat of this weapon of mass destruction being used sensors that time and it did that. And it prevented that from falling into the hands of dash. If this moment if those weapons had been removed. Imagine. What would be happening in the Middle East would that those weapons control so the president actually got. A better. Outcome. Then he would've gotten. If he had gone through the proposals with respect to the use of force that does it but that the president by the way never retracted. His readiness to use of force. But once he got the better resolved. The need to do it. Was obvious thing during years. That you would've been able to accomplish more. Through a greater degree at the threat of force in the military where you always on the same page and military. Well again my I'm still serving we have two more weeks. I'm not gonna go backwards I've avoided that. For the most part. Over the course of the last four years I think it's mistake to start now. But over a period of time there's plenty of time for history look what the debates were about what choices where. Suffice it to say that. I think. You know we were able to get a lot done with the Spencer when. Way to get to Geneva yet. To affect the full. Measure of a negotiation that's going to be essential actually ending the war there is no military solution is to the war. You will not have peace Syria. You may have taken over a lot below you may have new territory takeover. But there will still be bombs bursting that'll still be suicide vest it will still be unrest. And you will not have peace until you. A political solution and when you get it it will be built around the structure that we put in place through the Geneva. A process through the internationals yours work.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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