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David Petraeus
Obama's Mideast airstrike refrain: 'And then what?'
Obama's Mideast airstrike refrain: 'And then what?'

Last fall, as President Obama weighed airstrikes against Syria, deliberations followed a clear pattern: The president solicited scores of options, planners returned with possibilities, and, according to people involved, Obama would reply with the same question: And then what? Over the last several days, with Obama mulling involvement in another Middle East conflict, this time in Iraq, that dynamic has held. The result is a policy that so far has put on hold calls from the Iraqi government for U.S. airstrikes against Sunni Islamic militants who have seized territory north and west of Baghdad. Instead, aides say Obama is waiting for evidence that the Iraqi government, which is dominated by...

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