Analysis

Obama’s Syria Strategy Strains Alliance Ties
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with French President Francois Hollande during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 18. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
September 5, 2013
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| Middle East and North Africa, The Americas
Summary
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President Barack Obama’s request that Congress authorize his plans for a military strike on Syria has triggered intense domestic debate and media scrutiny, but the controversy’s effect on U.S. allies abroad has been largely overlooked. France, Britain, Israel and Jordan are dealing with the consequences of the president’s about-face from his original plan to attack Syria without congressional approval. An exclusive LIGNET source explains how the British are trying to repair damage to their “special relationship” with the United States after Parliament voted against the use of force in Syria.
The most negative consequence of Obama’s decision on Syria has been the delay while Congress deliberates. At least 10 days must pass before Obama may launch an attack. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can conceal and fortify his military assets. The congressional review period also poses considerable problems for America’s allies, problems that will not be resolved even if the United States carries out a successful attack.
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