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Defense News reports that “Two powerful US lawmakers said Washington must maintain the threat of force as leverage against Russia and Syria, and warned Iran is hitting America’s financial system with cyber strikes.”

“House and Senate leaders have accepted President Barack Obama’s request to delay votes on measures that would authorize him to launch limited strikes on Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal and military. But the top Republican and Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence want lawmakers to continue crafting and refining those measures.”

“Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., told a conference here that an ongoing congressional process toward votes on a use-of-force measure would give the Obama administration leverage. The idea would be to keep the possibility of attack on the table, forcing Moscow and Assad to follow through on plans to transfer Syria’s chemical arms to the international community.”

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