The Pentagon has been focusing on the Syrian military's command-and-control sites, which remain the most likely focus of any U.S. strike. But military planners have begun to add new targets, such as mobile missile launchers, that could require more than cruise missiles — and make the mission more complicated.
There are many ways to look at civil war: ethnic factions, economic divides and religions differences. But increasingly, some say we should also look at climate change as a factor as well, as it is often what forces internal migrations in nations already simmering with ethnic and sectarian tensions.
Cranes are elegant and endangered. For four decades, the International Crane Foundation has focused on their conservation. NPR's Jacki Lyden talks to one of the organization's co-founders, George Archibald, about a life spent researching his feathered friends all around the world.
Risking and embracing failure is part of the job for explorers and adventurers like aeronaut Salomon August Andrée. His fatal attempt at reaching the North Pole motivated others to push their own limits. The September issue of National Geographic investigates "famous failures" and why they mattered.
Sheri Fink's Five Days At Memorial, describes the horrific conditions at a New Orleans hospital shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Facing floodwaters and corporate mismanagement, some staffers euthanized sick patients. Fink's judgment of those actions is admirably — and frustratingly — nuanced.
Baghdad has an incredible tradition of libraries and learning, but the war in Iraq left many of its libraries burned and looted. Now, there will be a new library in the Iraqi capital. Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden Jacki Lyden talks with architect Amir Mousawi, whose firm drew up dramatic design plans for the new Baghdad Library.
Olympic wrestling fans have been anxious the last few months. The sport had been dropped from the games. Then the International Olympic Committee reversed course and decided to keep the sport as part of the summer Olympics. Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden speaks with NPR's Mike Pesca from Buenos Aires.
In her debut novel, Iranian-American Sara Farizan tells the story of two teenage girls, secretly in love. Sahar faces a crisis when she discovers Nasrin is engaged, and considers gender-reassignment surgery as a way for them to stay together. Farizan speaks with NPR's Jacki Lyden about the book and her own struggle with her sexual orientation.
The 27-year-old singer's music is often called futuristic — in part because her early releases revolved around a robot love story, but also because her work so firmly resists classification. She discusses her new album, The Electric Lady, here with NPR's Jacki Lyden.
Ivo Daalder, who was U.S. ambassador to NATO during the 2011 military intervention in Libya, says the United States should conduct military strikes against Syria, even if it can't get the backing of the United Nations. He argues that Syrian President Bashar Assad would interpret inaction as an invitation to use chemical weapons in the future. He also says that despite asking for congressional approval for military action, this is ultimately President Obama's call. "This is a lonely place for presidents to be. It will be up to him to make that decision."
Peter Galbraith, U.S. ambassador to Croatia in the 1990s who was involved in the Croatia-Bosnia peace process, has made a career of studying conflict. Historically a strong interventionist, Galbraith argues against military intervention in Syria and outlines possible alternatives.