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Posts in "Iraq"
August 13, 2014
Sen. Rand Paul has joined the calls for President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval for an extended military campaign to fight Islamic State forces in Iraq.
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) August 13, 2014
August 12, 2014
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine wants President Barack Obama to seek new approval from Congress for the current bombing campaign in Iraq.
“I support providing humanitarian relief to Iraqi civilians and measures to protect American personnel, but I am concerned about the timeline and scope of our renewed military efforts in Iraq,” the Virginia Democrat said in a statement. “Since the Administration has conceded that the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force is obsolete and should be repealed, it is now up to the Administration to receive Congressional authorization for the current air campaign against IS. This is especially the case since the President has indicated that our renewed military engagement in Iraq could be a long-term project.”
August 8, 2014
Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein warned Friday of the risk that the insurgent group ISIL could be preparing fighters to attack American and European targets.
“It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries, training them to fight its battles in the Middle East and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard,” the California Democrat said in a statement backing military action authorized by President Barack Obama. “We simply cannot allow this to happen.”
June 25, 2014
A longtime ally of President Barack Obama says he must consult Congress before taking military action in Iraq, except to secure the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., the former head of the Democratic National Committee, said Obama “must seek congressional approval” before launching military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) unless there is a direct and imminent threat to the United States, such as a threat to the U.S. Embassy. There is no such imminent threat now, Kaine said. Full story
June 20, 2014
Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the United States should only launch airstrikes in Iraq unless the various sectarian factions in the nation can unite to formally request it.
“Without at least that much of a showing of unity is made, I don’t believe that any assistance on our part would make a difference,” Levin said at a Friday news conference.
“The step that is critically essential before we even consider airstrikes is for there to be a formal public statement by the leaders of all of the groups in Iraq; Shia, Sunni, religious minorities, Kurds, tribal leadership in a public formal statement requesting assistance,” Levin said. “That would be a major step towards, and it would be an indication of a willingness to move towards national unity.”
Levin’s comments come after President Obama said he is considering possible military action in Iraq where sectarian extremists are threatening to overrun the government.
Militants — known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL — have pushed from the border with Syria and overtaken major cities in Iraq’s northern Sunni region sparking a new refugee crisis with hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing.
Levin also conditioned airstrikes on military leaders deciding that we have effective options that can change the momentum on the ground in Iraq and on clear public support from friends and allies in the region — particularly moderate Arab leaders of neighboring countries.
Levin warned that the militants pose a threat to the United States and its allies.
“The ISIL is a vicious enemy,” Levin said. “It is also the common enemy of all Iraqis, and of Iraq’s neighbors. If this vicious, common enemy cannot unite Iraqis in common cause, then our assistance, including air strikes, will make no difference.”
June 19, 2014
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said President Barack Obama should seek new authorization from Congress before taking military action in Iraq, saying it would be “absurd” to rely on the 2001 authorization to use military force.
“This is a debate we’ve had and the Obama administration as well as many Republicans think that you can stay at war forever based on [the] 2001 use of authorization of force,” Paul told reporters Thursday. “I don’t agree with that. I don’t think one generation can commit another generation to war forever. Full story