With calls growing for tougher action against ISIL in response to the Paris terror attacks, President Barack Obama is again reviewing a menu of policy options he has previously found unpalatable.
“Clearly there's going to have to be an intensification of our efforts,” Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Officials were mum on what that might mean. But several analysts predicted dramatic action in the coming days — including Special Forces raids on ISIL leaders and heavy airstrikes in Syria, like those conducted by France on Sunday. At the same time, they expressed doubt that Obama would dramatically shift his broader strategy in Iraq and Syria.
“He may pull the trigger on some targeted killings and claim it as counterattacks — or might hit some ISIL fixed sites in Syria or Iraq and do the same,” said Kenneth Pollack, a former Clinton administration official specializing in the Middle East now at the Brookings Institution. “But he has his strategy and he is sticking to it.”
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