Obama administration officials are hinting they’re prepared to accelerate efforts to arm rebel forces in the effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad while also insisting that a U.S. missile attack on Syria would be intended solely to punish his regime’s use of chemical weapons.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s case for punitive military action against Syrian dictator Bashar al- Assad is haunted by events a decade ago, when his predecessor based his case for invading Iraq on false intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
President Barack Obama faces the toughest foreign policy dilemma of his administration as he decides how to respond after concluding that Syria’s regime used chemical weapons against innocent civilians.
The U.S. government now says it has little doubt that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against its own people on a “massive scale.” This makes a military response imperative but not necessarily urgent.
– The political pressure on President Barack Obama to speed the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has grown since the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and is complicating his second goal in the region: getting Pakistan to move against Taliban operations on its side of the border.
It would be relatively easy for Iran to make good on its threat to close the strategic waterway that carries oil tankers from the Persian Gulf -- and it would probably hurt itself most by taking such action.