The increasingly nasty civil war in Syria has shown that President Obama’s leading-from-behind approach doesn’t work. Can he find a strategy that does?
In the first test of Obama’s second-term national security team’s stomach for war, gut-wrenching images of a chemical-weapons attack have turned even the least likely proponents for military action into a war council — or at least a limited-strike advisory group.
The hawk wing of Obama’s team — Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus — is long gone. They all lost the fight to get Obama to intercede on behalf of the Syrian rebels last year. But now their replacements are facing the harsh reality that sometimes America has little choice but to use its military.
Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, both shaped in part by their service in Vietnam and their later regrets about voting for the Iraq War, set a high bar for the use of force. “I think we need to be cautious with our power,” Hagel said at his confirmation hearing in which he spoke of having seen the “horror of war.”
Allan Handelman @IFItRocks
Here’s part of what I have in store on this afternoons show today 3-6 PM (ET). First guest JONATHAN ALLEN of... fb.me/2EDC1SsHVJake Loft @l0ftzilla
Just blow 'em up. politi.co/180HMk9Sarah Dion-Marquis @sdionmarquisCSPC @CSPC_DC
"[2nd term] shift in personnel mirrored the president’s own reluctance to engage in more wars" Syria alters narrative politi.co/180HMk9Jacqui Corba @jm_corbaAmerican Girl @AIIAmericanGirIRare @Rare
Syria is Obama's first big test of second term bit.ly/14YEifGWayne Isaacks @skaasi1stgoode @stgoodeJim Roberts @nycjim