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US request to join fight in Syria carries legal risk

27 August 2015

Fairfax Media

The United States has formally requested that Australia's support in the fight against Islamic State be extended beyond Iraq to include Syria. Lecturer Malcolm Jorgensen considers the legal implications involved in Australia expanding its mission. Read article

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Intervention in Syria risks serious consequences

26 August 2015

ABC 730

Australian fighter jets could soon be attacking Islamic State targets in Syria after a request for intervention from the United States. Alliance 21 director James Brown says there is division in the Defence department about how to proceed. Watch online

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Is the cost of our symbolism worth it?

17 October 2014

ABC The Drum

Visiting scholar Adam Lockyer argues that any contribution Australia makes to US fight against the Islamic State terror group is largely symbolic. As such, Australians should consider whether the risk of being involved is worth the symbolism. Read article

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US airstrikes paint mixed picture

6 October 2014

CNBC Asia

American airstrikes have already been effective in helping retake areas of strategic importance from ISIS, but lecturer Malcolm Jorgensen says the continued success of the mission will depend on the ongoing support of regional players. Watch online

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The doves, the hawks and the Secret Service

3 October 2014

2SER Friday Daily

The head of the Secret Service tendered her resignation this week following a number of embarrasing security breaches at the White House. Honorary professor Edward Blakely discusses the organisations role, as well as the latest on the conflict in Iraq and Syria. Listen online

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Have we learnt the lessons from Iraq?

30 September 2014

Sky News Reporting LIVE with Stan Grant

As Australia joins the United States in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, lecturer Malcolm Jorgensen discusses the lessons from the previous invasion of the region and what hope there is of a permanent solution. Watch online

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Air strikes launched against Syria

23 September 2014

ABC News Radio

American warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes on up to 20 Islamic State militant targets in Syria, co-ordinated with a coalition of five Arab nations. Research associate Tom Switzer looks at the expansion of the conflict to Syria and what to expect next in the region. Listen online

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Syria is key to halting ISIS

23 September 2014

CNBC Asia Capital Connection

With massive airstrikes now being launched by the US and Arab nations against ISIS targets in Syria, lecturer Malcolm Jorgensen discusses the next steps in the region including thawing attitudes to Iran. Watch online

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What can destroy ISIS's grip in the Middle East?

15 September 2014

CNBC Asia

The international response to the Islamic State will be a complex US-led process that could take years to unfold. Lecturer Malcolm Jorgensen discusses the current crisis saying the West must partner with regional players to re-establish political authority in northern Iraq and Syria. Watch online

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Australia, the US, and the War on Terror

12 September 2014

ABC TV Capital Hill

With Australia raising its terror alert level to high and Obama announcing a plan of action in Iraq and the Middle East, debates about the alliance and its role in the War on Terror are re-emerging. Associate professor Brendon O'Connor joins an expert panel to discuss the next steps in Iraq and Syria. Listen online

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New commitment in the Middle East could be a long one

12 September 2014

The Conversation

Plans by the United States to escalate its assault on the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria have received bipartisan support in Australia. Research associate Tom Switzer, however, is a critic of the action, saying Australia has no interest in the war. Read article

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Obama lays out plan for Iraq and Syria

11 September 2014

ABC TV The Drum

Barack Obama's major address on his Islamic State strategy promised air strikes but can a satisfactory resolution be reached without ground troops? Research associate Tom Switzer joins a panel to read between the lines of the President's speech. Listen online

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Obama strategy fails on Sunni-Shia divide

11 September 2014

ABC The Drum

Barack Obama's failure to put the rise of Islamic State in the context of the broader Sunni–Shia dispute was a crucial, and revealing, oversight in his address, writes research associate Tom Switzer Read article

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Obama preparing to authorise air strikes to attack militants

11 September 2014

ABC News Online

Barack Obama has vowed to attack Islamic State militants "wherever they exist" in a speech laying out a strategy to strike against the Islamic State terror group. Lecturer Thomas Adams, however, says the lack of an endgame is cause for concern. Read article

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Greater buy-in needed from Arab countries

11 September 2014

Bloomberg TV

Centre CEO Bates Gill analyses President Barack Obama's speech laying out a strategy for taking on the Islamic State, pointing to a range of new strategic factors involving Syria and Arab partners that need to be watched closely. Watch online

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Going after Islamic State fraught with traps for US

27 August 2014

Fairfax Media

Research associate Tom Switzer says US President Barack Obama was right to order limited air strikes to stop jihadists from carrying out a genocide in northern Iraq. But that does not mean the US should broaden its capaign against the group known as Islamic State. Read article

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Domestic and foreign challenges for Obama

22 August 2014

2SER Friday Daily

It's been a challenging week for Barack Obama, with ongoing riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and the beheading of US journalist James Foley in Iraq by ISIL militants. Honorary professor Edward Blakely discusses these events and what they could mean for US policy and society. Listen online

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Obama's critics wrong about Iraq disaster

13 August 2014

ABC The Drum

Barack Obama's approach to the Middle East has been criticised by both the left and right. Research associate Tom Switzer says Obama's cautionary tactics in the Middle East did not create a strategic void allowing extremist Islamists to grow. Read article

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Obama 'weak' on Syria and Ukraine?

24 April 2014

ABC Radio PM

With conflict in Eastern Ukraine descending into hostage taking and outright skirmishes and Syria remaining a diplomatic headache, is Obama weak on foreign policy? Centre guest Stephen Walt analyses the President's actions overseas. Listen online

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The Cold War foundations of Putin's international law

28 March 2014

On Line Opinion

Both America's proposed Syrian intervention and Russian actions in Ukraine fall outside accepted international law. Lecturer Malcolm Jorgensen explores why world leaders turn to legal rhetoric even when it doesn't back up their actions. Read article

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Putin could move against Crimea

25 February 2014

ABC TV Lateline

Centre guest and president of the US Council on Foreign Relations Richard N. Haass discusses Russia's position in regard to Ukraine and Syria, plus free trade agreements in the Asia Pacific region. Watch online

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US fighting on multiple fronts in diplomatic game

24 January 2014

2SER Friday Daily

Honorary professor Edward Blakely discusses the latest develops in US foreign affairs around the world including trying to negotiate ceasefires in Syria and the Ukraine, and managing the ongoing fallout from the NSA spying revelations.  Listen online

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Angry exchanges open Syrian peace talks

23 January 2014

ABC Radio National Breakfast

Delegates at the Syrian peace talks in Switzerland have kicked off the first day of proceedings with a series of heated exchanges. Lecturer Malcolm Jorgensen discusses the prospects for success when direct talks begin. Listen online

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America in 2013

31 December 2013

ABC NewsRadio

It was a rocky year for Barack Obama, a momentous one for Edward Snowden, and a shifting one for the international security landscape. Research associate Tom Switzer casts his eye over the events of 2013. Read article

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Three lessons from Obama's Syria missteps

26 September 2013

The American Conservative

Whether the deal to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles is enforceable and verifiable is an open question. But what is clear is that some cautionary lessons have already emerged from this crisis. Research associate Tom Switzer offers three. Read more

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Syria hands over its chemical weapons

23 September 2013

Sky News Late Agenda

Syria has complied with the US-Russian disarmament agreement but have all their weapons been transfered and, if so, where to from here? Lecturer David Smith joins a panel of experts to discuss the Syrian crisis and the latest from Kenya. Listen online

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America’s sense of a special role in global affairs is faltering

14 September 2013

Australian Financial Review

Russian president Vladimir Putin provoked outrage in the US when the New York Times published an opinion piece chiding American leadership and denouncing US military intervention. But Barack Obama might agree with Putin on more than he thinks, says research associate Tom Switzer. Read article

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Obama's Syria strategy: The war he doesn't want

11 September 2013

The Conversation

Does Barack Obama even want the US to launch an attack against Syria? Lecturer David Smith thinks the tell-tale sign Obama doesn’t actually want a military strike is the fact he asked Congress for authorisation in the first place. Read article

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Syria: Washington's diplomacy by trial and error

11 September 2013

The Lowy Interpreter

President Barack Obama's recent efforts to mobilise support for a military intervention in Syria that would have only modest positive effects, at best, are hard to comprehend, writes Centre tutor Gorana Grgic. Read article

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US credibility is MIA in battle to solve Syrian crisis

11 September 2013

ABC The Drum

President Barack Obama's response to Syria has been uncertain and contradictory, says research associate Tom Switzer. The result is that American credibility and prestige have been dissipated and squandered. Read article

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Obama delays vote on Syria in national address

11 September 2013

ABC News 24

With the Assad regime committing to a UN supervised disposal of its chemical weapons following a proposal by its close ally Russia, Obama has postponed a Congressional vote in a nationally televised address. Research associate Tom Switzer analyses the speech and looks at what's next for the US and Syria. Watch online

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Syria explained

10 September 2013

ABC Local Radio Sydney

Lecturer Adam Lockyer explains the latest conflict in Syria, including the complex historical and political forces dividing the country and the past, present and future of America's foreign policy towards the troubled nation. Listen online

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Senate battle looms over Syria strike

9 September 2013

ABC News Radio

Members of US Congress are returning to Capitol Hill for the first time since the suspected chemical weapons attack in Damascus last month. Lecturer Adam Lockyer looks at the likelihood of the President being given the go-ahead for a strike on Syria.  Listen online

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Syria and the change of leaders

8 September 2013

ABC News 24

Lecturer Adam Lockyer looks at how the election of Tony Abbott as the new Prime Minister will be likely to change Australian foreign policy towards Syria and our alliance with the United States. Watch online

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Justice means the end to all casualties in Syria

6 September 2013

The Sydney Morning Herald

The US response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria has inserted foreign policy into the Australian federal election campaign. Lecturer Malcolm Jorgensen says both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott are exhibiting a concerning disregard for Australia's historic commitment to international law. Read article

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To strike or not to strike?

6 September 2013

2SER Friday Daily

All eyes were on Syria this week, with the latest chemical weapons attack sparking further interest on what President Obama's reposnse will be. Will the US Congress grant him the authority to begin military action? Honorary professor Edward Blakely looks at the likelihood of a strike.  Listen online

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Obama turns to Congress on Syria

2 September 2013

Radio 6PR

Neither the United Nations nor America's NATO allies are willing to join the US in a strike on Syria. Lecturer Adam Lockyer explains why President Barack Obama is seeking authorisation from Congress to take action against the Assad regime. Listen online

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The case against a Syria strike

31 August 2013

The Australian

The constraints on any response the US makes to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria are political, not military, says lecturer Adam Lockyer. But America's desire to take action does not mean it should ignore the role institutional institutions can play. Read article

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US prepares response to chemical weapons attack in Syria

27 August 2013

ABC Sydney 702

Secretary of State John Kerry said evidence that Syria used chemical weapons against its own civilians should "shock the conscience of the world." Lecturer Adam Lockyer tells Richard Glover what the US response will look like and whether it will involve military action.  Listen online

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In defence of Obama's cautious Syria policy

26 June 2013

ABC The Drum

For the people of Syria, the continued conflict in their nation is tragic, says research associate Tom Switzer. Nevertheless, Barack Obama has been right to ignore calls to commit US forces to topple the Assad regime. Read article

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Why Syria is not like Bosnia

25 June 2013

The Lowy Interpreter

The parallels between the current conflict in Syria and the crisis in Bosnia of the 1990s are tempting: humanitarian conditions, regional dynamics, and US reluctance are all points of similarity. Nonetheless, Centre tutor Gorana Grgic says significant differences between the two situations mean the US cannot intervene in the Middle East today the way Bill Clinton did in the Balkans.  Read article

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Syria divides Russia and the US at G8

18 June 2013

ABC Radio Australia and News Radio

Echoes of the Cold War have underscored the mood at the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland with US and Russian leaders divided over how to deal with the Syrian civil war. But lecturer Adam Lockyer says Syria will not be the only issue that will split the major powers at the summit.  Listen Online

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Diplomatic and economic costs of Syrian intervention

18 June 2013

2GB Money News with Ross Greenwood

There was a clear strain on relations at the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland this week, as Russia's Vladimir Putin and US president Barack Obama remained divided on intervention in Syria. As lecturer David Smith notes, the costs of foreign entanglements are high, both diplomatically and economically.  Listen Online

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Russia, US at odds on Syria

18 June 2013

Sky Business

Lecturer Adam Lockyer says that for the first time since the Cold War, Russia and the US are lining up on opposite sides of a civil war. How will the G8 summit affect the US policy towards Syria?  Watch Online

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Middle East tensions to dominate G8 summit

18 June 2013

Sky News AM Agenda

Following Barack Obama's decision last month to provide Syrian rebel forces with military assistance, the G8 summit looks certain to become a forum for major leaders to discuss the developments in the Middle East. Lecturer Adam Lockyer looks at the summit and the likely outcomes in terms of US foreign policy. Watch Online

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Why Obama is arming the Syrian rebels

17 June 2013

The Age and Fairfax Online

The American people don't want another war. Barack Obama has tried to stay out of the conflict. So why is the US arming rebels in Syria, in what lecturer Adam Lockyer calls "the most risky foreign policy decision Obama has to date made"?   Read article

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Iran elections and Syrian aid

15 June 2013

ABC News 24

Lecturer Adam Lockyer discusses the election of new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and the US decision to send military aid to Syria's rebels, saying that further US intervention is likely to lead to an escalation of violence.  Watch Online

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Did the US step into the middle of a Syrian civil war?

14 June 2013

American Review

An announcement by the Obama administration that the US will supply rebel forces in Syria with arms could significantly shift the dynamic in a country beset by civil war. Jonathan Bradley, the online editor of American Review, the Centre's journal, asks lecturer in US politics and foreign policy Adam Lockyer what US involvement in the fight means for the Middle East. Read more

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Where must Americans die?

17 May 2013

The American Conservative

Former Republican presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan says the case made by foreign policy expert Owen Harries and Centre reseach associate Tom Switzer in their American Interest essay, “Leading from Behind: Third Time a Charm?” has some high profile supporters, including Senator John McCain. Read Online

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Game changers and broken telephones in Syria

17 May 2013

Online Opinion

Claims that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against opposition forces were just another in a series of so-called 'red lines' crossed by the Syrian government. But can these claims be trusted? PhD candidate Gorana Grgic looks at the mixed messages coming out of the Middle East.  Read Online

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Red faces but no guns for CIA in Syria

12 May 2013

The Sunday Times

Quoting the cover story of the latest American Interest magazine written by Owen Harries and Tom Switzer, Washington bureau chief for The Sunday Times Toby Harnden argues that Obama stepping away from Syria is part of a larger 'hands-off' strategy. Read Online

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Reagan, Syria and coming out in the NBA

3 May 2013

ABC TV Planet America

Everything's up for discussion this week as visiting professor Simon Jackman and associate professor Brendon O'Connor look at the legacy of Ronald Reagan, whether Obama will finally close Guantanamo Bay, the latest from Syria and coming out in the NBA. Listen Online

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Obama is right on Syria

2 May 2013

The Washington Post

Affirming the argument made by research associate Tom Switzer and foreign policy expert Owen Harries, Obama's 'leading from behind' strategy is one that should be praised as an escape from the delusional ambition that the United States can and should lead everywhere, says George F. Will. Read Online

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Syrian conflict continues to simmer

26 April 2013

ABC Local Radio Sydney

Lecturer David Smith discusses the latest in American news, including rumours of chemical weapons in Syria that may force the hand of Barack Obama and the continuing conflict of over Guantanamo Bay.  Listen Online

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Are Australians fighting in Syria?

24 April 2013

SBS Radio World News Australia

How accurate are media reports claiming that hundreds of young Lebanese Australian dual nationals have become involved in fighting in Syria? Research associate in counter terrorism Leah Farrall says claims such as these need to be handled with care. Listen Online

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Tensions rising in the Middle East

4 February 2013

Sky News Newsnight

With conflict between Israel and Syria continuing to divide commentators and affect the relationship between Washington and Tel Aviv, lecturer Adam Lockyer discusses the latest in the Middle East. Watch Online

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US recognises Syrian opposition

12 December 2012

ABC 24 The World

The US has formally recognised the rebel Syrian coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, a move that lecturer Adam Lockyer says was a long time coming but still carries significant risks. Watch Online

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Obama draws a line in the sand on Syria

6 December 2012

ABC The Drum

Barack Obama warned the  this week against using chemical weapons on its own people. Lecturer in US foreign policy Adam Lockyer says America's tough talk is a sign it's trying to avoid conflict with the Assad regime. Read article

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NATO acts in Syria crisis

5 December 2012

Sky News Agenda

Over the last 21 months in Syria human rights groups say more than 40,000 people have died in fighting between the government and rebel groups. As the crisis deepens, lecturer Adam Lockyer discusses the threat to region and the reaction of the world community. Watch Online

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Obama stays out of Syria

5 December 2012

ABC 24 News Breakfast

Lecturer Adam Lockyer says by issuing a deterrence threat, the United States is drawing a 'line in the sand' - making it clear it will only enter the war in Syria if the situation descends into chemical warfare. Watch Online

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Foreign policy looms for Obama

8 November 2012

ABC Radio The World Today

President Obama will return to the Oval Office to face some big foreign policy issues, including the bloody civil war in Syria and the standoff with Iran over nuclear weapons. Lecturer Adam Lockyer discusses the key issues and a second term Obama foreign policy.  Listen Online

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Saudi Arabia and Iran pick sides in Syria

9 August 2012

Australia Network Newsline

Tehran has declared Syria a fellow member of what it terms "the axis of resistance" to US influence, meaning American hopes for an end to President Assad may prove premature. Professor of war studies at King's College London and Centre guest Anatol Lieven says the conflict reflects the underlying struggle for the hearts and minds of the Middle East between three major geopolitical forces. Watch Online

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Iran backs the Assad regime

8 August 2012

ABC Radio National Drive

From a dwindling pool of allies, Iran has emerged as the strongest backer of Syria's Assad regime. Professor of War Studies at King’s College London and Centre guest Anatol Lieven says that despite this, the Assad regime's days are numbered. Listen Online

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Syria becoming an ethno-religious war

2 August 2012

ABC Lateline

Videos posted on YouTube showing Syrian rebels in the commercial capital Aleppo executing government fighters have once again brought the war-torn country to the centre of international concern. Professor of War Studies at King’s College London and Centre guest Anatol Lieven discusses the progress of Syria's civil war and the likelihood of the Taliban in Afghanistan coming to an agreement with coalition forces. Watch Online

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US unwilling to be bogged down in Syria

19 July 2012

ABC Radio Australia Connect Asia

Four months out from the US presidential election, the focus of debate is on domestic issues like debt, jobs and taxes. But what about America's standing in the world? Tom Switzer discusses the candidate's foreign policies and how the US will deal with the latest Syrian crisis. Listen Online

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Colossal challenges ahead for US foreign policy

13 March 2012

ABC TV News Breakfast

With conflicts reaching boiling point in Afghanistan, Syria and Iran, the US is increasingly being stretched overseas between domestic demands and international commitments. Professor Ian Shapiro discusses the options of the Obama administration in light of recent events in each of these areas and the long term affects that the 2012 election campaign may have on US foreign policy. Professor Shapiro is a visitor at the US Studies Centre. Watch Online

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