Susan's Feed
Sep 3, 2013

Kerry says Syria authorization should not preclude ‘boots on the ground’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that a resolution in Congress on the use of military force in Syria should not remove the option of using U.S. ground troops, although he stressed there was “no intention” of inserting American soldiers into Syria’s civil war.

At the first public hearing in Congress on potential military action in Syria, Kerry said “it would be preferable” not to preclude the use of ground troops to preserve President Barack Obama’s options if there was a potential threat of chemical weapons falling into the hands of extremists.

Sep 3, 2013

Senator Levin ‘confident’ U.S. will step up support for Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said on Tuesday he was confident after talking with President Barack Obama that the United States would step up its support for “vetted” elements of the Syrian opposition.

Senator Carl Levin said he urged the president, a fellow Democrat, to arm the Syrian rebels a day after two influential Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, sought similar assurances from Obama, who is trying to persuade lawmakers to authorize limited U.S. military action in Syria.

Sep 2, 2013

As Obama pushes to punish Syria, lawmakers fear deep U.S. involvement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his aides pressed U.S. lawmakers on Monday to approve military force against Syria but many members of Congress were worried that an attack would only drag America into another Middle Eastern conflict with no end in sight.

Obama’s abrupt decision to halt plans for a strike against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and instead wait for congressional approval has generated a raging debate just as the president prepares to go to Sweden and Russia this week.

Sep 2, 2013

Obama authorization for Syria too broad for some lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers began work on Monday on their version of an authorization of the use of military force in Syria, worrying that President Barack Obama’s draft could open the door to possible use of ground troops or eventual attacks on other countries.

Obama’s proposal, released on Saturday by the White House, authorizes the president to use the armed forces “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria.”

Aug 30, 2013

Once-brash Rice quietly builds Obama’s bridge to Congress on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Susan Rice is facing her first key test as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser as she helps lead a White House effort to convince a skeptical Congress that the United States must respond to Syria’s apparent use of chemical weapons.

Rice has made an abrupt transition from a high-profile and sometimes combative U.S. ambassador, who scolded the U.N. Security Council for failing to agree on Syria sanctions, to a behind-the-scenes power player at the White House.

Aug 25, 2013

U.S. says Syria offer to show chemical attack sites ‘too late’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. military response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria appeared more likely on Sunday after Washington dismissed the Syrian government’s offer to allow U.N. inspection of the sites as “too late to be credible.”

A senior official of the U.S. administration said there was little doubt the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians in suburbs of Damascus last week and that President Barack Obama was weighing how to respond.

Aug 22, 2013

Scenarios: Obama’s options on Syria carry significant risks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has several diplomatic and military choices before him as he considers whether to take action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over charges it carried out a massive deadly chemical weapons attack in the civil war there.

Here are some of Obama’s options, and the downside of taking them:

* PUSH FOR U.N. INSPECTORS TO GET ACCESS TO THE SITE OF THE ALLEGED CHEMICAL ATTACKS.

Aug 16, 2013

Freezing U.S. aid to Egypt would not be easy or cost-free

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some U.S. lawmakers are calling for the Obama administration to shut off aid to Egypt in the aftermath of the army’s lethal crackdown on protesters. But untangling the aid relationship with Cairo would not be simple and could be costly for the United States as well as Egypt.

A special financing arrangement Cairo uses could leave U.S. taxpayers holding the bill for billions of dollars in equipment Egypt already has ordered on credit, and companies like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics that build military hardware for Egypt would be affected by aid restrictions.

Aug 10, 2013

U.S., Russia agree to prepare for Syria peace talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Russian officials agreed on Friday on the need to convene a long-delayed Syrian peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible, but they offered no concrete plan to bring the warring government and rebels to the table.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters after five hours of political and security meetings in Washington that officials from the two countries will meet again by the end of the month to prepare for the Syria talks.

Aug 9, 2013

U.S., Russian ministers agree to prepare for Syria peace talks: Lavrov

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Russian officials agreed on Friday on the need to convene a Syrian peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible and will meet again by the end of the month to prepare for the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Lavrov said the mood of talks in Washington between the top U.S. and Russian diplomatic and defense officials was very positive. The meeting opened after days of recriminations over Moscow’s decision to grant asylum to former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.