Barack Obama has a bad case of Syria déjà vu.
Nearly one year after he stood at the brink of ordering military action against Syria — but said he’d only step across if Congress agreed — the president finds himself in an eerily similar situation.
Then, as now, the world has been horrified by violence in the region. Then, as now, the drumbeat of increased military operations has grown louder. And then, as now, a president whose political rise was partly defined by his opposition to interventions abroad must decide whether to escalate American involvement, either on his own or with permission from Congress.
So Obama is once again stuck on a national security crisis: worried about political support on Capitol Hill for a vote on intervention and held back by his own visceral resistance to unilateral military action.
The White House, for the record, says this is not the same dilemma Obama faced last Labor Day.