Secretary of State John Kerry faces a tough job crafting a regional coalition to confront the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria. For one thing, potential coalition partners don't necessarily trust each other – or the US.
Some security experts are cautioning the administration about its anti-Assad stance, even as the US begins surveillance flights over Syria in anticipation of possible expanded US action against the Islamic State.
The talk doesn't mean the US is on the verge of extending its air campaign against Islamic State fighters into Syria, or shifting from an adversarial to cooperative stance with Syrian leader Assad in the interest of defeating IS.
Amid the tensions, the White House announced Friday that President Obama will visit Estonia next month before a NATO summit. The Baltic states are concerned about Russian intentions in light of the Ukraine developments.
Antiwar politicians and activists who largely stood by Obama when he ordered limited strikes to avert a 'potential genocide' are sounding alarms over what they see as his military reengagement in Iraq.
Although President Obama has ruled out US combat troops in Iraq, concerns are nevertheless rising about how to address both the humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq and the broader threat posed by the Islamic State.
Benghazi and Rwanda, two crises where military intervention was not used, likely figured in the backdrop of Obama's decision on what to do about a looming genocide and an imminent threat to US personnel in Iraq.
The State Department lashed out at Israel Sunday for what it called ‘disgraceful’ shelling of a refugee center. But two days earlier, President Obama had offered a full-throated defense of Israel’s Gaza offensive.