What's Next after Obama Brakes on Syria Strike?

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Leaders around the world are planning their next moves after President Barack Obama put temporary brakes on an military strike against Syria.

Following the president's prime time address to the nation Tuesday, both supporters and critics wonder what's ahead for U.S. foreign policy.

During the address, Obama made his case for why the United States should act against Syria's president, even as the strike he was planning was put on hold by a move suggested off-the-cuff by his own secretary of state.

"If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons," the president warned in his speech.

"As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them," he continued. "Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield, and it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons and to use them to attack civilians."

Does the civil war in Syria pose a threat to America? Dr. Kim Holmes, distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, answers this and more, on CBN Newswatch, Sept. 9, following this report.

But critics say the president knows he's in an uphill battle to move public opinion with nearly two-thirds of the country opposed to U.S. military involvement.

"I think President Obama presented his case, but he did not convince me," Rohit Chand, an Illinois resident, said.

"To a person, every G.I. I meet, every parent I meet, not one of them wants to get involved in a civil war.  And it's not that we don't have sympathy, we just don't see a military or an American objective there," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said.

Overseas President Obama won applause from Iran's Aytollah Khamenei, who said the U.S. decision to bomb is a good one if it is serious.

Israeli President Shimon Peres toured a factory near the border. He questioned whether Syria would really give up its chemical weapons.

"If they won't do it, I believe the United States will keep her credibility and Syria will pay a price," Peres said.

Despite all the drama of the past couple of weeks, not much has really changed. Iran's leaders are still pursuing nuclear weapons and Assad is still in charge and fighting Syria's civil war

Russian President Vladimir Putin's influence in the Middle East continues to grow, while the United States is more reluctant than ever to exert its authority in the region.

Meanwhile, Israel stands guard, ready to strike again if its own red lines are crossed.

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John Waage

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.