“The Pentagon is preparing to conduct reconnaissance flights over Syria,” a senior U.S. official said. “There is no decision yet to do strikes, but in order to help make that decision, you want to get as much situational awareness as possible.” […] But military officials said the work of preparing for possible U.S. strikes was continuing. [Wall Street Journal]
WHITE HOUSE National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden refused to comment directly, except to say “we’ll use all the tools at our disposal when it comes to the protection of our people.” It’s clear that Central Command has no intention of dealing with the Syrian butcher Bassar al Assad, with drones and other mediums of gathering intelligence across the now non-existent border to be done without permission.
Expanded surveillance on ISIS has begun inside Syria, as President Obama mulls the possibility of taking on the Islamic State. IS has reportedly has taken over 35,000 square miles of territory, while obliterating the border between Syria and Iraq. Sober contemplation of limited airstrikes in Syria is the only option at this point.
Today President Obama is due to speak at the VFW convention addressing veterans’ concerns, even as the press is hammering the White House over ISIS messaging that is shifting to surveillance ahead of possible airstrikes, however limited.
The photo above is for the chattering class who think it’s still the 20th century and that any president isn’t still working even when he’s not sitting in the White House.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been connected since the web took off in the mid-90s, but the laughable caterwauling over his golfing, as I’ve already written, stems from ignorance and the obsession we have in our society for looking like you’re doing something rather than actually doing it when no one is looking.
The other fact is that all presidents need down time. We all do.
Very serious decision awaiting President Obama on Syria. Let’s hope this time if he chooses airstrikes the Congress, the country and the President’s base will get behind him. I won’t hold my breath.
UPDATED (8.27.14): Obama administration is reportedly mobilizing allies, with airstrikes inside Syria against IS seen as imminent according to reports, including NBC’s Richard Engel. From the New York Times:
As Mr. Obama considered new strikes, the White House began its diplomatic campaign to enlist allies and neighbors in the region to increase their support for Syria’s moderate opposition and, in some cases, to provide support for possible American military operations. The countries likely to be enlisted include Australia, Britain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, officials said.
The officials, who asked not to be named discussing sensitive internal deliberations, said they expected that Britain and Australia would be willing to join the United States in an air campaign. The officials said they also wanted help from Turkey, which has military bases that could be used to support an effort in Syria.