Syria

Obama shuts down Syrian embassy, consulates in U.S.

Obama shuts down Syrian embassy, consulates in U.S.

The Obama administration ordered the Syrian government on Tuesday to suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the United States, requiring all personnel who are not legal U.S residents to leave the country. The order, three years after the start of Syria’s bloody civil war, essentially shutters the Syrian embassy in Washington and its honorary […]

Was U.S. ‘outfoxed’ on Syria?

Was U.S. ‘outfoxed’ on Syria?

Lawmakers assessing the agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons argued Sunday about whether President Barack Obama was outfoxed by the Russians and had lost leverage in trying to end the civil war, or whether his threat of military action propelled the breakthrough. Obama said the turn to diplomacy had laid “a foundation” toward political settlement of […]

Obama unsure about Russia

Obama unsure about Russia

President Barack Obama says a U.S.-Russian agreement offers a chance to destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons and promises to end the threat they pose to Syrians and the world. But the two powers are divided over the fate of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Obama, speaking in a television interview taped before Saturday’s announcement of […]

U.S. and Russia reach agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons

U.S. and Russia reach agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov say they have reached an agreement on a framework for securing Syria‘s chemical weapons after the third day of intense negotiations in Geneva. They say some elements of the deal include a timetable and how Syria must comply — and that if Syria […]

After Syria debacle, can Obama regain any momentum?

After Syria debacle, can Obama regain any momentum?

With a military strike against Syria on hold, President Barack Obama tried Thursday to reignite momentum for his second-term domestic agenda. But his progress could hinge on the strength of his standing on Capitol Hill after what even allies acknowledge were missteps in the latest foreign crisis. “It is still important to recognize that we […]

Lost in translation or lack of trust? Kerry wasn’t sure

Lost in translation or lack of trust?  Kerry wasn’t sure

Something got lost in translation between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday — and it served to illustrate the level of distrust in U.S.-Russian relations. It happened when the two diplomats delivered opening statements before their high-stakes talks about how to inventory and dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons. […]

A lot still riding on outcome of Syria weapons talks

A lot still riding on outcome of Syria weapons talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that prospects for a resumption in the Syrian peace process are riding on the outcome of U.S.-Russian talks aimed at securing Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal that lurched into a second day. As American and Russian chemical weapons experts huddled in a […]

Obama’s many public relations blunders

Obama’s many public relations blunders

Some of President Barack Obama’s top allies say the president misread a few crucial political forces when he asked Congress to support his bid to strike Syria. Chief among Obama’s missteps, they say, was underestimating the nation’s profound weariness with military entanglements in the Middle East, fed by residual anger over the Iraq war‘s origins, […]

Military budget cuts limit options like Syria attack

Military budget cuts limit options like Syria attack

American warships lie in wait across the eastern Mediterranean Sea ready to strike Syria if ordered, and Pentagon officials insist they’ll find the money to fund the operation if needed. But as the military continues to grapple with massive budget cuts, senior defense leaders said this week that it will certainly get harder and more […]