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White House: Goal not ousting Assad

(FOX NEWS) On the heels of a Cabinet-level principles meeting on Syria last night, President Obama continues to weigh his options on military strikes.

The administration specified Tuesday that the goal of a military response to alleged chemical attacks by the Syrian government is “not regime change,” although that has been the basis of U.S. policy toward Assad over the past two years.

As pressure builds for action, the administration is apparently confining its options to punishing Assad for crossing Obama’s red line rather than take actions to tip the balance of power in the Syrian conflict. The president’s critics – hawks and doves alike – question the long range effectiveness.