Speaker of the House John Boehner on Friday said he approves of President Obama’s airstrikes in Iraq, but denounced the administration for an apparent lack of a strategy to deal with the Islamic militants terrorizing the country and religious minorities.
“The president’s authorization of airstrikes is appropriate, but like many Americans, I am dismayed by the ongoing absence of a strategy for countering the grave threat ISIS poses to the region,” Boehner said in a statement.
“Vital national interests are at stake, yet the White House has remained disengaged despite warnings from Iraqi leaders, Congress, and even members of its own administration,” Boehner said.
“Such parochial thinking only emboldens the enemy and squanders the sacrifices Americans have made,” the Ohio Republican continued. “The president needs a long-term strategy — one that defines success as completing our mission, not keeping political promises — and he needs to build the support to sustain it. If the president is willing to put forward such a strategy, I am ready to listen and work with him. For now, I wish Godspeed to all our men and women participating in these operations.”
Late Thursday, Obama, in an address to the country, announced plans to bomb the Islamic State of Israel and Syria or, as others call it, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist group.
“To stop the advance on Erbil, I’ve directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city,” Obama said. “We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad. We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL.”
Obama vowed to not to return troops to the country, even as ISIS forcibly take control of lands in Iraq and Syria as they aim to establish a new strict Islamic state.
“As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,” Obama said. “And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq. The only lasting solution is reconciliation among Iraqi communities and stronger Iraqi security forces.”