Obama's Uncertain Path Amid Syria Bloodshed

President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters as he meets with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. President Obama is hosting Singh for talks on trade and security in a fragile region, offering a chance to inject new life into the partnership amid concerns that relations have stagnated. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters as he meets with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. President Obama is hosting Singh for talks on trade and security in a fragile region, offering a chance to inject new life into the partnership amid concerns that relations have stagnated. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON — With rebel forces in Syria in retreat and the Obama administration’s policy toward the war-ravaged country in disarray, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at the White House Situation Room one day in June with a document bearing a warning. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had used chemical weapons against his people, the document said, and if the United States did not “impose consequences,” Mr. Assad would see it as a “green light for continued CW use.”

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