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  • Bashar al-Assad

    Obama Administration Backs into Policy of Arming Syrian Rebels

    The White House announced yesterday that President Obama has authorized the transfer of arms to Syria’s rebels after concluding that Bashar al-Assad’s regime had violated the president’s red line against the use of chemical weapons. The Obama Administration needed to reverse course and take stronger action in Syria to enforce … More

    Syria: Obama Administration Slow-Walks Decision on Chemical Weapons

    The Obama Administration has been moving very slowly on the Syrian chemical weapons issue. Caution is in order, because the President’s credibility is on the line. President Obama has repeatedly warned Bashar al-Assad’s regime not to use its huge chemical weapons arsenal. In a December speech he proclaimed, “The use … More

    Obama’s “Lead from Behind” Efforts in Syria are Failing

    On Wednesday the United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning the Syrian government’s forces while praising the opposition. Although the resolution passed, the non-binding text received less support than last year’s resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. With support for Syria’s rebels waning, it is clear that the … More

    Hagel Announces Deployment of U.S. Troops to Jordan in Response to Worsening Syria Crisis

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday that he has ordered the deployment of U.S. troops to work with Jordan’s military to “improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios” related to Syria. The Army will send up to 200 personnel, including intelligence and communications specialists, from the headquarters of … More

    Syria: Al-Qaeda Consolidates Its Influence

    The leader of al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch, the Islamic State of Iraq, announced on Tuesday the formal merger of his organization and Jabhat al-Nusra (“Victory Front”), an al-Qaeda-controlled front group that has played a growing role inside Syria. Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared, “It’s now time to declare in front of … More

    Despite “Pivot” to Asia, Kerry Forced to Return to Middle East

    Although the Obama Administration has proclaimed its intention to “pivot” toward Asia, Secretary of State John Kerry has been forced to pivot back to the Middle East in advance of his forthcoming trip to Asia. Kerry was originally slated to travel to South Korea, Japan, and China following the April … More

    Europe Must Face Up to Hezbollah’s Bloody Legacy

    This week, the parliament of Bahrain voted unanimously to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. “It is time we join the world in outlawing this group, which has terrorized the region enough and has been instrumental in spreading evil among us,” said lawmaker Shaikh Jassim Al Saeedi, a sponsor of the … More

    Central Al-Qaeda May Be Wounded but Terrorist Threat Remains

    On March 12 the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a report on the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community.” The report stated the following: Senior personnel losses in 2012, amplifying losses and setbacks since 2008, have degraded core al-Qa’ida…. However, the group has held essentially the same … More

    U.S. Aid to Syrian Rebels Takes Congress by Surprise

    On Thursday, at the Friends of Syria Conference in Rome, Secretary of State John Kerry abruptly reversed U.S. policy on Syria. Much to the surprise of Members of the U.S. Congress—and possibly of the members of the Syrian opposition as well—Kerry announced that the U.S. will be supplying $60 million … More

    Morning Bell: Taking Terrorism and the Arab Spring Seriously

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama showed a stunning lack of reality on terrorism and the Arab Spring. The President’s statement saluting “the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk” unfortunately rings hollow when one considers the Administration’s treatment of the … More