U.S. Sen. Tester: Middle East will define Obama presidency


by Rob Cheney

While Congress has a ton of work awaiting its return from campaign season, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester believes how President Barack Obama deals with threats of war could overshadow the coming months.

“His presidency won’t be defined by the economy or health care,” the Montana Democrat said of Obama’s administration. “It will be determined by the Middle East. How he fixes it and how he pays for it will determine if he’s a failure or success as president.”

In a Monday meeting with the Missoulian editorial board, Tester added he’s been frustrated so far in his efforts to learn more about the administration’s plans. U.S. military forces are seeing increased involvement in Syria’s civil war and the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq, while still trying to work out an end-game in Afghanistan.

“I need somebody to tell me what we’re doing here,” Tester said. “Nobody’s asking about who’s paying for this war. How are we going to vet the Syrians we’re training? What’s their true allegiance? Who’s in the coalition with us? A lot of folks are saying, ‘We’ll be right behind you.’ They need to be right beside us.

But when I asked who’s in the coalition, all I got was a ‘We’ll get back to you.’ “

Read more here: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/u-s-sen-tester-middle-east-will-define-obama-presidency/article_4bad1356-4dc4-11e4-9b0f-ff26890842af.html