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September 2, 2014

Posts in "Iraq"

August 30, 2014

Obama Approves New Strikes in Iraq

President Barack Obama may not have a strategy yet for striking ISIS in Syria, but he’s widening his campaign against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq.

The United States launched airstrikes against the group — which the administration calls ISIL — and new humanitarian airdrops to the besieged town of Amirli, which has held out for two months against the terror group. But the administration is careful to say that its latest mission will be limited — as Obama already faces calls from members of both parties for congressional authorization of any sustained military campaign.

Here’s the statement from the Pentagon: Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 10:22 p.m.
Iraq

August 28, 2014

Obama on ISIS: ‘We Don’t Have a Strategy’ (Updated) (Video)

492587929 445x296 Obama on ISIS: We Dont Have a Strategy (Updated) (Video)

Obama said he hasn’t finalized a strategy for dealing with the jihadi insurgents who control parts of Syria and Iraq. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File Photo)

Updated 6:26 p.m. | President Barack Obama said Thursday it’s premature to go to Congress to authorize a strategy to defeat ISIS — because he doesn’t have one yet.

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama told reporters after being asked about striking ISIS in Syria, saying he didn’t want to “put the cart before the horse.”

The line — sure to be repeated often by his critics — came as Republicans have been repeatedly demanding a strategy to defeat ISIS.

Obama said he’s asked the military for options to take on ISIS, but a decision to expand strikes into Syria isn’t imminent and he suggested it would not happen before Congress returns from recess.

He said there was a role for Congress to play once that strategy is in place. But he said that he didn’t wait for Congress before launching airstrikes in Iraq because he had a responsibility to protect the American people and could not wait. He said that he has consulted with Congress on his actions to date and that feedback has been positive. Full story

Obama to Meet With National Security Council

Facing decisions on crises in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, President Barack Obama will meet with his National Security Council this afternoon at the White House in the Situation Room.

The White House announced the 4 p.m. meeting — with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. joining by telephone — early Thursday. The meeting comes as the president is considering whether to expand airstrikes against the Islamic State group into Syria, as well as Iraq, and faces a decision on how to respond to reports of Russian military incursions in Ukraine. Full story

August 18, 2014

Obama Dispatches Holder to Ferguson, Cites Progress in Iraq (Video)

492587929 445x296 Obama Dispatches Holder to Ferguson, Cites Progress in Iraq (Video)

Obama sends Holder to Ferguson, reports progress in Iraq. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated 7:03 p.m. | President Barack Obama, back in Washington for a day of meetings in the midst of his August vacation, on Monday reported “progress” in the expanded campaign of U.S. airstrikes on Iraqi insurgents near Mosul, and again called for calm in the riot-torn streets of Ferguson, Mo.

He announced that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday to talk with local leaders about the riots that have rocked the St. Louis suburb since the Aug. 9 police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

Asked about the militarization of American law enforcement that some have said is exacerbating clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Obama said it may be time to review the use of federal dollars to purchase surplus military vehicles and gear.

“There’s a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement,” he said. “And we don’t want those lines blurred.”

Some civil rights leaders have urged the president to speak out more forcefully on the shooting of Michael Brown, but on Monday, Obama instead called for restraint on the part of both police and protesters. Full story

August 7, 2014

Obama Authorizes Airstrikes Against ISIL in Iraq

President Barack Obama has authorized airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel in Erbil and to shield about 40,000 people trapped on Sinjar Mountain from genocide.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been on the march and has traveled close to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq.

“Today, America is coming to help,” Obama said.

“The United States of America cannot turn a blind eye” to the prospect of genocide on Sinjar Mountain, he said. “We must act and act now.”

But he insisted that combat troops will not be returning to the battlefield.

Obama said that he consulted with Congress on his actions and will continue to do so.

Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 9:57 p.m.
Iraq

June 26, 2014

Obama to Congress: Constitution Gives Me Authority to Send Troops to Iraq (Updated)

obama062614 445x266 Obama to Congress: Constitution Gives Me Authority to Send Troops to Iraq (Updated)

(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 6:40 p.m. | President Barack Obama told Congress Thursday that he has the authority on his own to send troops to Iraq indefinitely under the Constitution.

“These forces will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed,” Obama told lawmakers of his decision to send 300 military advisers there.

“This action is being undertaken in coordination with the Government of Iraq and has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” Obama wrote in a letter to Congress.

Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 2:55 p.m.
Iraq

June 20, 2014

Congress Won’t Block Obama on Iraq

duckworth062014 445x294 Congress Wont Block Obama on Iraq

Duckworth, a veteran who lost both legs during her military service, said Obama needs flexibility to deal with the situation in Iraq. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s now clear Congress will not block President Barack Obama from using force in Iraq if he chooses, despite opposition primarily from the president’s own party.

A key takeaway from a series of late-night votes on the Defense appropriations bill is that a sizable antiwar group of House Democrats oppose Obama’s plan to engage militarily, and don’t support his plans to continue a global war on terror beyond the end of this year.

Full story

By Emma Dumain and Steven Dennis Posted at 4:02 p.m.
Iraq

June 19, 2014

Obama Prepared for Iraq Action Without Congress (Video)

Updated 3:48 p.m. | President Barack Obama said Thursday he’s prepared to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq and launch attacks against the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant without getting new permission from Congress. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 3:33 p.m.
Iraq

Obama to Make Statement on Iraq

President Barack Obama will make a statement about Iraq at the White House this afternoon after meeting with his national security team in the Situation Room, the White House announced.

The statement in the Brady Press Briefing Room is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. It comes a day after the president briefed congressional leaders on Iraq at the White House.

 

Related stories:

Obama not asking Congress’ Permission on Iraq

Amendments Opposing Iraq War Could Put House Democrats in Tough Spot

Obama’s Democrats Wary of Military Action in Iraq

Obama Could Bomb Iraq Without Congress Because War Authorization Act Never Expired

By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:17 a.m.
Iraq

June 18, 2014

Obama Not Asking Congress’ Permission on Iraq (Updated)

Updated 11:18 p.m. | President Barack Obama is still considering what to do about Iraq, but he told the top congressional leaders Wednesday that he doesn’t think he needs Congress’ permission to act.

“We had a good discussion,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arriving back at the Capitol after the meeting. “The president basically just briefed us on the situation in Iraq and indicated he didn’t feel he had any need for authority from us for the steps that he might take and indicated he would keep us posted.” Full story

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