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President Barack Obama is confronting a recent burst of strength by al-Qaida that is chipping away at the remains of Mideast stability and testing his hands-off approach to conflicts in Iraq and Syria at the same time he pushes to keep thousands of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The invigorated front highlights the tension between two of Obama's top foreign policy tenets: to end American involvement in Mideast wars and to eradicate al-Qaida.