Analysis

How Obama’s Syria Plans Advance Putin’s Mideast Agenda
President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the White House on the U.S. response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Tuesday, Sept.10. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)
September 11, 2013
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| Middle East and North Africa, The Americas
Summary
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In a nationally televised address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama said that he still views the use of force against Syria as an appropriate response to the use of chemical weapons there but that he is now prepared to consider a Russian proposal for Syria to turn over its chemical stockpile to international control.
Obama’s remarks contained the same arguments for force he and his most senior aides have used for more than a week, especially their emphasis on using a military strike to “deter and degrade” Syria’s chemical weapons capability while reiterating the president’s determination not to introduce ground forces in Syria. The Russian proposal could prevent and will certainly delay a U.S. attack and, in the best case, could defuse the immediate problem, but it also carries long-term consequences that may be detrimental to U.S. regional interests.
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