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Chuck Hagel
U.S. strategy against Islamic State hits major hurdles
U.S. strategy against Islamic State hits major hurdles

The Obama administration's plan to raise a 15,000-strong rebel army in Syria has run into steep political and military obstacles, raising doubts about a key element of the White House strategy for defeating Islamic State militants in the midst of a civil war. Pentagon concerns have grown so sharp that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a two-page memo to the White House last week warning that the overall plan could collapse because U.S. intentions toward Syrian President Bashar Assad are unclear, according to a senior defense official who read the memo but was not authorized to speak publicly. President Obama has called on Assad to step down, but he has not authorized using military...

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