President Barack Obama apparently failed to change any minds on Syria when the leaders attending the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, met for a working dinner Thursday night. Instead, according to Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, the divisions over Syria “were confirmed” at the dinner.
One of the problems facing the Obama team is that there remains widespread skepticism about the veracity of U.S. intelligence claims. Even as lab results from Britain's Porton Down laboratory seem to confirm that sarin gas was used in the attack on three Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21, Russia, along with some other countries, continues to insist that chemical weapons might have been used by the Syrian opposition. So far, the president has not been able to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin or other skeptics that there is solid proof to back up U.S. assertions, in part because Obama did not present his fellow world leaders with clear and convincing evidence, such as satellite imagery or transcripts of intercepted communications. While members of Congress have received more classified briefings, Secretary of State John Kerry has argued that what has been released publicly, and what serves as the basis of the American case at the G-20, is “unprecedented” and “sufficient” to support the U.S. claims. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $11.99 monthly or $94.99/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- The Realist Prism: India Visit Successful, but Will Obama Follow Through?
- Global Insights: Bond With Modi Helps Obama’s India Visit Exceed Expectations
- Strategic Horizons: U.S. Must Be Prepared for Life After Putin, Even if Russia Isn’t
- U.S. and Cuba Face a Long Road Ahead to Normalization
- The Realist Prism: Shake-Ups Won’t Address U.S. Foreign Policy’s Real Problems