Crises Cascade and Converge, Testing Obama
Not long after a passenger jet exploded in midair and plummeted to the ground in Ukraine last week, escalating a volatile crisis pitting the United States and Europe against Russia, President Obama’s thoughts turned to Syria.
The Malaysia Airlines flight seemed to have been shot down by a sophisticated Russian antiaircraft system provided to insurgents who mistook the airliner for a military transport. In a conversation with aides, the president said this was why he refused to send antiaircraft weapons to Syrian rebels. Once they are out of a government’s control, he said, the risk only grows.