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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Anthony Cordesman
As President Obama weighs a military response to Syria's purported use of chemical weapons, some observers say the administration's best chance for effective intervention has already passed.
The Middle East pro-democracy movement hailed over the past two years as the Arab Spring was transformed Wednesday when the military junta now controlling Egypt opened a bloody assault on protesters — a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown that seemed to expose the limits of American diplomatic power to pursue lofty goals once envisioned for the region.
Security inside Iraq is unraveling at an alarming pace, and al Qaeda terrorists there aren't just pulling the thread; they're setting it on fire.
Russia’s decision Tuesday to go ahead with the delivery of a sophisticated air-defense system to Syria will prove a a huge advantage to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in its war against Western-backed insurgents.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a meeting Thursday at the White House, is expected to urge President Obama to arm the Syrian opposition and enforce a "no-fly" zone in an effort to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
As President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet at the White House Friday morning, big questions about the future of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan will be on the table.
All U.S. troops could withdraw from Afghanistan next year if enough progress has been made against al Qaeda or if the Afghan government does not grant immunity to American forces after the end of their combat mission in 2014, the Obama administration says.
A Pentagon report on Afghanistan says enemy attacks have increased slightly since last year and the Taliban will try to reclaim lost territory as coalition forces withdraw combat troops by the end of 2014.
The White House flatly rejected calls from House conservatives to halt U.S. aid to Egypt after a slow response from Cairo in rebuking violent attacks on the U.S. Embassy there Tuesday night.
Western nations preparing to withdraw from combat in Afghanistan increasingly are alarmed by Afghan security forces turning their weapons on allied troops, attacks that the Taliban claim as proof of their sway over local troops.
The United States on Monday stood by its hands-off policy toward Iraq after more than 100 Iraqis died in a wave of 37 coordinated terrorist attacks across the country — the most intense assault since American forces left seven months ago.
A dramatic uptick in violence and political instability in Iraq has raised fears that Baghdad once again is tilting toward civil war.
A dramatic uptick in violence and political instability in Iraq have raised fears that Baghdad once again is tilting toward civil war.
The long-term partnership that President Obama signed with the Afghan government commits the U.S. to a role in the troubled nation for at least a dozen more years, leaving critics fuming over the uncertain costs of a conflict that already has stretched for a decade.
U.S., Afghan and Taliban officials this week have offered contradicting accounts about the purpose of the Taliban establishing an office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
"Even if the U.S. does intervene militarily, the time window for its best option has already passed," said Anthony Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "Every option today comes up against the reality that Assad is now far stronger, the country is increasingly being split into Assad and rebel-controlled sections, the rebels are fractured and rebel forces have strong Sunni Islamist extremist elements, and the nation is increasingly polarizing."
"This whole idea of declaring a coup and cutting of arms is kind of like the 8-year-old who doesn't like the game so he takes his ball and goes home," he said. "It doesn't really help."