David Gergen and Michael Zuckerman: On Syria, Obama must show strong grip
For Obama, it is also possible that the delay for a congressional vote will one day be seen as tactically shrewd.
Already, he is receiving more help internationally. Saudi Arabia has come out publicly for military action, the Arab League has toughened its stance, and the NATO secretary general has now called for punishment of the al-Assad regime for using chemical weapons. Obama's trip to the G-20 next week gives him a chance to round up more support.
But there is no doubt that he and his team still have a lot of work to do to convince the skeptics, and nowhere is that more important than with the American public. Members of Congress know full well how uneasy many of their constituents are. They will soon be demanding that the president win over more of the public as a price for their own support. There is a good chance we will hear an address from the Oval Office on the eve of congressional voting. Read more ..
David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has been an adviser to four presidents. He is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Follow him on Twitter. Michael Zuckerman, David Gergen's former research assistant, is on staff at the Kennedy School and will be entering Harvard Law School.
Patrick M. Regan: Syria strike would put peace further out of reach
An attack on the Syrian military by the United States would send a message to al-Assad, but it is not clear if Obama has any strategic objective beyond that. Whether he has such a plan or not, any U.S. attack will have implications for the civil war, no matter how much Obama says otherwise. Read more...
Patrick M. Regan is a professor of peace studies and political science at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. He is the author of "Civil Wars and Foreign Powers" (University of Michigan Press, 2000) and "Sixteen Million One" (Paradigm, 2009), which examines the causes, consequences and possible solutions to civil wars.
William Hartung: Don't use Syria to pump up Pentagon spending
Using Syria as an excuse to hold off on Pentagon cuts would be an endorsement of the tens of billions of dollars in waste that exist in the current Department of Defense budget. And it would postpone a long overdue reshaping of the U.S. military to address a world increasingly dominated by non-traditional threats like cyber-attacks, climate change, epidemics of disease, and the spread of nuclear weapons. Read more...
William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. Follow him on Twitter: @WilliamHartung
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