WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama is to push hard for a strike on Syria with a nationally broadcast speech Tuesday, despite experts' warnings that military action could entangle the U.S. in a no-win situation.
In recent weeks, Obama announced he would seek Congressional approval for plans to launch a "limited" strike on Syria for the allegations that Damascus unleashed a deadly chemical weapons attack on its own people -- crossing the "red line" that Obama has said could trigger U.S. military involvement.
Tuesday's televised speech is seen as part of a bid to buy time and shore up support among undecided lawmakers, as the Obama administration goes all out to make the case for U.S. military intervention in war-torn Syria.
As part of that effort, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said Sunday, during one of his five network television interviews, that U.S. intelligence on the alleged chemical weapons attack is accurate.
But experts say the U.S. risks getting sucked into a quagmire, with many arguing that military action would simply amount to yet another player entering a multi-faction civil war in which no side currently dominates.
Jeffrey Martini, a Middle East analyst with policy research group Rand Corp., told Xinhua that a strike could pull the U.S. into the type of conflict that Washington has so far sought to avoid.
Other experts argued that despite the Obama administration's vows to limit the strike, involvement could escalate and create a mess for the next president to clean up in 2016.
Some wonder what exactly the Obama administration aims to accomplish, as the White House has so far released few details about its military goals if it carries out a strike.
Erica Borghard, an independent expert on U.S. foreign policy, said the Syrian government could easily absorb the damage from a limited strike.
The U.S. also runs the risk of being viewed as a "paper tiger" by anti-American militants, as a limited attack would inflict minimal damage to Damascus and embolden terrorists, some experts and pundits said, citing former President Bill Clinton as an example.
In 1998, two weeks after an al-Qaida attack on two U.S. embassies in Africa, Clinton lobbed cruise missiles at a factory in Sudan and an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan.
But the attacks did little damage and critics argued that the strike simply emboldened al-Qaida's terror mastermind, Osama bin Laden, to launch the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC-- the most deadly terror strike in U.S. history.
All this puts Obama in a sticky position, in which he must play the least bad hand in a bad deck. On one hand, not taking action now after so much White House "red line" rhetoric would be a major blow to U.S. credibility worldwide.
But on the other hand, experts say Americans do not want a third war in 12 years, after the brutal conflict in Iraq and a continuing war in Afghanistan that began after the Sept. 11 attacks.
In the lead-up to a vote in Congress, Obama may be assured backing from the Democrat-controlled Senate, but the GOP-controlled House will be a tough sell, said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.
The vote comes in the lead-up to the 2014 mid-term elections, where all House seats will be up for grabs. With the majority of the country opposing a Syria strike, House lawmakers consider a yes vote an electorally risky move.
Support will be easier in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where only 35 seats are open, O'Connell said.
BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate delayed a test vote on authorizing a limited military strike on Syria Monday, hours after President Barack Obama welcomed a Russian proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control. Full story
DAMASCUS, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Monday proposed a fresh initiative on Syrian crisis, stimulating to secure the chemical stockpiles of the Damascus government under international observation, an apparent attempt to put down the fire before reaching the "powder keg" of the Middle East.
Syrian analysts say the move could be a first step toward a political solution to the country's long-time crisis.Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday welcomed a Russian proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control, saying it is a "potentially positive development," and could lead to a "breakthrough" on the crisis, while warning the proposal shouldn't be used as a stalling tactic.
In multiple interviews with TV networks, Obama said he would prefer to have a diplomatic solution to the crisis rather than launch a military attack, signaling he would put the strike against Syria on hold if the Syrian government were to turn over control of its chemical weapons.Full story
MOSCOW, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Monday called on Syria to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ( OPCW), and put its chemical weapons storage facilities under international control.
"We have given our proposal to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moualem and we expect a prompt and, I hope, positive response," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a statement after his talks with Moualem.Full story