President Barack Obama says he hasn't made a final decision about a military strike against Syria. But he says he's considering a limited and narrow action in response to a chemical weapons attack that he says Syria'sgovernment carried out last week.
“We don't know how hard they're going to hit [President Bashar] Assad, but clearly they're going to hit Assad,” says Joshua Landis, a leading Syria watcher and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “What Obama articulated very clearly is that we can hit him hard enough to dissuade him from using chemical weapons again. So it's worth it to try to extend that and punish Assad and make him think twice about using again.”
Obama says that attack was a challenge to the world and threatens U.S. national security.
On Thursday President Obama canceled joint military exercises with Egypt. Samer Shehata, a University of Oklahoma professor of Middle East Studies and an expert on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, says while the move was the least President Obama could do, it was still necessary.
Foreign aid to post-conflict countries usually focuses on rebuilding physical infrastructure. Peter Weinberger says in countries where there are deep divisions between religious, ethnic, or tribal groups, social reconstruction is more important, and can be much more difficult to achieve, than physical reconstruction.
On Thursday President Obama canceled joint military exercises with Egypt – saying U.S. cooperation with that country can't "continue as usual" amid the violence that claimed more than 600 lives since Wednesday.
Samer Shehata, a University of Oklahoma professor of Middle East Studies and an expert on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, says while the move was the least President Obama could do, it was still necessary.
“It isn't terribly costly for the United States or for the Egyptian military,” Shehata says. “I think the larger questions, the more important questions, are will U.S. military assistance to Egypt, which is on the tune of $1.3 billion annually, will that be suspended or ended?”
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 10:42 am
"It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally."
That's the reaction of spectator Perry Beam to Saturday's appearance at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo., of a rodeo clown wearing a mask meant to look like President Obama and what happened during his performance.
Videos that Beam took show some of the scene and capture some of what the rodeo announcer and another clown were saying. The Kansas City Star has posted two of the clips on its YouTube channel.
President Obama is set to hold a news conference at the White House on Friday at 3 p.m. ET — his first such formal give-and-take with the press corps since "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden starting spilling secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs in June.
So we should expect questions about Snowden, spying and civil liberties, as well as strained relations with Russia, the economy and other subjects.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:12 am
President Obama has canceled a one-on-one September summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House says.
It's the most dramatic effect so far on U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of Russia's decision to grant "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden temporary asylum while he tries to get safe haven in some third country.