Republican House Speaker John Boehner advocated for a greater American presence in Iraq to assist that nation's military forces currently struggling in their battle with Islamic State group.
After recently returning from a trip overseas, Boehner’s take includes a larger role for U.S. troops to assist in the battle, but did not call it a combat role.
“I wouldn’t call it combat. I would call it ‘plan and direct;’ more engaged in helping the Iraqis fight the fight,” the speaker said.
Boehner criticized President Barack Obama’s strategy for fighting Islamic State group in Iraq, saying the administration has placed “artificial constraints” on the remaining U.S. troops in the area, currently at 4,500, The New York Times reported.
The Ohio Republican also attacked Obama for halting his earlier promise to use military force in Iraq if need be, saying that the White House is not taking the threat of Islamic State group seriously.
“I have not given up on it, but until the president gets serious about fighting the fight and really has a strategy that makes some sense, there is no reason for us to give him less authority than he has today,” Boehner said.
Boehner also commented on the Iran nuclear power negotiations, sounding optimistic that Congress would come to a bipartisan agreement over its role in the process. Originally, the Obama administration was going to bypass Congress and approve the Iranian negotiations through the United Nations; Democrats in Congress objected to this and Obama later changed his position.
“I don’t know how you cut a deal with the devil and think the devil is going to keep his end of the deal,” Boehner quipped, referring to the lack of trust that Republicans have for the Iranian government.
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