Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki has come to Washington to ask for the president's help as violence there threatens to destabilize the entire region.
Fisher House has announced it will step in to pay military death benefits during the shutdown, with the Pentagon repaying the organization after the shutdown has ended.
The country must still survive the end of the withdrawal, April elections, and a violent Taliban.
The defense secretary has announced that most civilian defense workers will now be exempt from the government-shutdown furlough.
If it does act, the U.S. is not explicitly aiming for regime change. If it doesn't, Assad will still be able to boast. It's a win-win for the dictator.
Obama's decision to seek Congressional authorization for a Syrian intervention illustrates the new mood in the country.