"Right now, if I was taking the advice of some of the members of Congress who holler all the time, we'd be in, like, seven wars right now," President Barack Obama told a small gathering of veterans and mothers of deceased United States military personnel on September 10.
According to Yahoo News, the quote comes from a little-noticed White House video released last month.
“I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been counting. We’d be in military actions in seven places around the world,” Obama said.
The meeting took place behind closed doors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House - yet the president's comments were made publicly available via a White House-produced video that was shared on social media.
When Yahoo News asked a National Security Council spokesman to elaborate upon Obama's remarks, the spokesman allegedly listed seven places where Obama has sent combat forces: Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, and Yemen.
“The point is that some of our critics think massive ground forces are the answer to any security challenge anywhere in the world for undefined ends,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said to Yahoo News. “Our response has been to deploy boots on the ground for discrete missions when necessary for pre-defined and narrow purposes.”
Obama's comments were made during a discussion of the Iran Nuclear Deal with veterans at the White House. President Obama has often characterized himself as the diplomatic antithesis to Republican warmongers, despite the fact that his administration has significantly increased the use of drones to carry out air strikes that the public often knows little to nothing about.
Though the discussion came at a time when Republicans seemed particularly hawkish during their resounding and indignant opposition to the Iran nuclear deal - according to Yahoo News, members of the GOP portrayed Obama as an accomplice to a new Holocaust or as the world's chief sponsor of terrorism for his support of the nuclear deal.
Photo credit: Screenshot via WhiteHouse.gov video