Special Report: How Syria policy stalled under the 'analyst in chief'




 
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October 9th, 2014  
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Topic: Special Report: How Syria policy stalled under the 'analyst in chief'


By David Rohde and Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Throughout 2012, as signs mounted that militants in Syria were growing stronger, the debate in the White House followed a pattern. In meeting after meeting, as officials from agencies outside the executive residence advocated arming pro-Western rebels or other forms of action, President Barack Obama’s closest White House aides bluntly delivered the president’s verdict: no. “It became clear from the people very close to the president that he had deep, deep reservations about intervening in Syria,” said Julianne Smith, who served as deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. In June, the radical group Islamic State, after seizing wide swaths of Syria, conquered Iraq's second largest city and threatened Baghdad as the Iraqi army collapsed.




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