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U.S. military beginning review of Syria options

Syria and the Iran

CNN Security Clearance

By Barbara Starr

Although the U.S. focus remains on exerting diplomatic and economic pressure on Syria, the Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities, CNN has learned.

The options are being prepared in the event President Barack Obama were to call for them. Two senior administration officials who spoke about the review to CNN emphasized that U.S. policy for now remains the use of non-military options.

The focus on diplomatic options was underscored by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.

“Before we start talking about military options, we very much want to ensure that we have exhausted all the political, economic and diplomatic means at our disposal,” Ambassador Susan Rice said on CNN’s “Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

The president has also said that the U.S. is working on non-military options first.

“I…

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