from The Great Debate:

A potential turning point for Syria

By Mona Yacoubian
September 11, 2013

In the dizzying debate over U.S. military intervention in Syria, one key point of consensus stands out: Both the Obama administration and Congress recognize that the resolution to Syria’s conflict must come through a negotiated settlement. Key international actors share the same conclusion.

from The Great Debate:

Is this why Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize?

By L. Douglas Wilder
September 11, 2013

In December 2009 the world was treated to the unexpected news that President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Among those most surprised was Obama himself. Not many sitting American presidents have won the award. In fact, Obama was only the third.

from Ian Bremmer:

The vote on Syria hardly matters

By Ian Bremmer
September 10, 2013

The details of American involvement in Syria seem to change every minute. First the Obama administration was going to launch a “limited, narrow” attack, with international backing, against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime as a punitive response to chemical weapons use. Then the administration was going to do it more or less alone. A week and a half ago, Obama punted on the issue, asking for congressional backing (but all the while stressing he could strike without Congress’ permission). And now, thanks to gaffe diplomacy, it’s possible that America won’t strike Syria at all, as the administration is willing to delay a vote in favor of pursuing a diplomatic solution -- like Russia’s proposal that Syria hands over its chemical weapons to the international community. That Russia’s plan is likely aimed more at scuttling strikes than at actually rounding up Assad’s chemical arsenal seems beside the point.

from David Rohde:

A Syria gift Obama must use wisely

By David Rohde
September 10, 2013

In a sober, narrowly framed speech Tuesday night,  President Barack Obama argued that deterring chemical weapons use - not regime change - remained the goal of any American military strike in Syria. Ob ama said he would delay a vote in Congress on the issue, seek a UN resolution requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and explore Russia's surprising - and probably  - offer to help secure Syria's chemical weapons.

from The Great Debate:

Making frenemies with Putin

By Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
September 10, 2013

Anyone who ever worried that Barack Obama might not be Made in the USA should take comfort from his quintessentially American response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to give temporary asylum to Edward Snowden: pouting.

from David Rohde:

For Obama, a contradiction too many

By David Rohde
September 6, 2013

President Barack Obama will have to deliver one of the finest speeches of his presidency next Tuesday if he hopes to win Congressional support for a strike against Syria. Out of nowhere, the Syria vote has emerged as one of the defining moments of Obama’s second term.

from The Great Debate:

The politics of Syria

By Bill Schneider
September 4, 2013

Congressional Democrats are in a bind. If they vote to authorize a military strike on Syria, they could be putting the country on a slippery slope to war. But if they vote no, they will deliver a crushing defeat to their president.

from The Great Debate:

Obama’s flawed case for a Syria strike

By Ari Melber
September 3, 2013

We should not bomb Syria without a vital national security interest and a precise foreign policy objective.

from The Great Debate:

Syria: What happened to diplomacy?

By Trita Parsi
September 3, 2013

There is a bizarre quality to the U.S. public debate about bombing Syria. Much time and effort has been spent analyzing President Barack Obama’s decision to finally call for a vote in Congress: whether this was a wise choice; what the repercussions of an attack may be; the (il)legality of acting without a United Nations Security Council mandate; the moral case for bombing, and the strategic case for restraint.

from The Great Debate:

Common ground for Obama and Putin is offshore

By William E. Pomeranz
September 3, 2013

Low expectations surround the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg on September 5-6.

President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel the pre-G20 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin means the big photo op will likely be the two leaders awkwardly trying to avoid each other. The other headline-making issues in U.S.-Russian relations -- Syria, nuclear weapons reduction, missile defense -- also appear off the table now. There is one timely matter, however, that resonates with Washington, Moscow, and the entire G20 -- the continuing fight against offshore tax havens.