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Aug 29, 2014

Obama feeds critics with bid for more time on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has bought some time with his decision to slow the march toward U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria and provided fodder for critics who accuse him of dithering.

The White House on Friday defended Obama’s admission on Thursday that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for confronting the militant group’s operations in Syria. It said he wanted to deliberate on the options his military advisers were giving him.

Aug 29, 2014

Obama says does not yet have military strategy for Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States has not yet developed a strategy for confronting Islamic State in Syria, an acknowledgement that a decision had not been made on whether to launch air strikes against the militant group.

Obama’s comment during a White House news conference before a meeting of national security advisers about how to proceed against Islamic State drew criticism from Republicans and a clarification from White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Aug 28, 2014

U.S. openly accuses Russia of sending combat troops to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday openly accused Russia of sending combat forces into Ukraine and threatened to tighten economic sanctions, but Washington stopped short of calling Moscow’s intensified support for separatist forces an invasion.

President Barack Obama again ruled out U.S. military action, saying there must be a diplomatic solution. But he said he would reaffirm U.S. commitment to NATO allies in the region at a summit next week.

Aug 28, 2014

Obama says does not yet have broad strategy for Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he has not yet developed a broad strategy for confronting Islamic State in an acknowledgement that he has not decided whether to launch air strikes against the militant group in Syria.

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama told a White House news conference ahead of meeting top national security advisers in the Situation Room about how to proceed against Islamic State.

Aug 24, 2014

As Obama’s vacation ends, criticism does not

/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Barack Obama discovered over the past two weeks, presidents can run into trouble when their playtime is perceived as detached from the concerns of Americans.

Obama returns to Washington on Sunday faced with having to repair some of the dings to his reputation after he came under fierce criticism for playing golf amid smoldering crises involving Islamic State militants, racial unrest in Missouri, a Chinese plane’s altercation with an American aircraft over Japan, and renewed violence in Ukraine.

Aug 23, 2014

Obama orders review of U.S. police use of military hardware

/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the distribution of military hardware to state and local police out of concern at how such equipment has been used during racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

The president ordered the examination of federal programs and funding that enable state and local law enforcement to purchase such equipment, a senior Obama administration official said on Saturday.

Aug 22, 2014

White House defends Obama’s golf outings during crises

By Steve Holland

EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama delivered a somber statement on the death of American journalist James Foley after a video emerged showing Foley’s grisly execution by Islamic State militants. Then Obama proceeded directly to a golf course to play 18 holes.

That juxtaposition of events on Wednesday drew Obama a fair amount of criticism as he tries to juggle the U.S. response to rapidly unfolding world crises while taking some time to relax during a two-week August vacation that has been frequently interrupted.

Aug 22, 2014

U.S. considering taking fight against Islamic State into Syria

By Steve Holland

EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – The United States is considering taking the fight against Islamic State militants into Syria after days of airstrikes against the group in Iraq and the beheading of an American journalist, the White House signaled on Friday.

President Barack Obama, soon to end a two-week working vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, has not yet been presented with military options for attacking Islamic State targets beyond two important areas in Iraq, said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

Aug 21, 2014

U.S. forces tried but failed to rescue U.S. hostages in Syria

By Missy Ryan and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON/EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – U.S. forces attempted to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages during a secret mission into Syria and exchanged gunfire with Islamic State militants only to discover the captives were not there, officials said on Wednesday.

The mission, authorized by President Barack Obama based on U.S. intelligence, took place earlier this summer. Officials disclosed the mission a day after a video surfaced showing a militant beheading the 40-year-old Foley.

Aug 21, 2014

U.S. forces attempted but failed to rescue U.S. hostages in Syria

, Aug 20 (Reuters) – U.S. forces
attempted to rescue journalist James Foley and other American
hostages during a secret mission into Syria and exchanged
gunfire with Islamic State militants only to discover the
captives were not there, officials said on Wednesday.

The mission, authorized by President Barack Obama based on
U.S. intelligence, took place earlier this summer. Officials
disclosed the mission a day after a video surfaced showing a
militant beheading the 40-year-old Foley.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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