Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, salutes President Barack Obama during a Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington, Va. For three years, Obama has resisted the pull of potential U.S. military action in Syria. He has held firm even as the civil war's death toll climbed toward 200,000, the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians and Islamic State militants strengthened amid the chaos. Now he must decide whether the extremist group's murder of American journalist James Foley, as well as the broader threat the group could pose to U.S. interests, should change his cautious calculus.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, salutes President Barack Obama during a Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington, Va. For three years, Obama has resisted the pull of potential U.S. military action in Syria. He has held firm even as the civil war's death toll climbed toward 200,000, the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians and Islamic State militants strengthened amid the chaos. Now he must decide whether the extremist group's murder of American journalist James Foley, as well as the broader threat the group could pose to U.S. interests, should change his cautious calculus.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press .
published Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
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WASHINGTON — The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army."

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