Obama plans continued action against Islamic State

February 19th, 2015



As many as 25 Islamic State group fighters were killed on Friday, Feb. 13 when they stormed an Iraqi military base in the highly-contested Anbar province, according to NBC.


American troops were stationed at the base, but were on the opposite side of the base during the attack. No Iraqi troops were killed.


The attackers were dressed in Iraqi military uniforms and may have penetrated the perimeter of the base before they were all killed, according the NBC.


This attack comes on the heels of another attack by the Islamic State group near an American military base. This attack, also in the Anbar province, occurred just a couple miles away from a U.S. airbase housing senior American military officials.


Closer to home, President Barack Obama took a stand against the Islamic State group on Feb. 11, asking Congress for a resolution authorizing the continued campaign against the group, according to USA Today.


“The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses a threat to the people and stability of Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East, and to U.S. national security,” Obama wrote in the letter to Congress. “It threatens American personnel and facilities located in the region and is responsible for the deaths of U.S. citizens.”


Obama addressed the nation from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, standing in front of a painting of Teddy Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War.


According to USA Today, Obama said, “Know this: Our coalition is strong, our cause is just and our mission will succeed.

Barack Obama, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel

“Make no mistake, this is a difficult mission,” he continued. “And it will remain difficult for some time. It’s going to take time to dislodge these terrorists. But our coalition is on the offensive. ISIL is on the defensive, and ISIL is going to lose.”


The draft resolution would not authorize “enduring offensive ground combat operations,” and it would place a three-year time limit on operations before the resolution would have to be renewed, according to CNN.


“It is not the authorization of another ground war like Afghanistan or Iraq,” Obama said. “As I’ve said before, I’m convinced that the United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East. That’s not in our national security interest, and it’s not necessary for us to defeat ISIL.”


The resolution would not limit military actions to Iraq and Syria and does not count out the possibility of ground troops, according to USA Today.


“We don’t want anybody in ISIL to be left with the impression that if they move to some neighboring country that they will be essentially in a safe haven and not within the range of United States capability,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “We certainly wouldn’t want anything in the AUMF to be construed by anybody as a limitation on the ability of American men and women to protect themselves.”


House Republican leaders were quick to dismiss the White House draft authorization as too limited, insisting the president should have fewer limitations, according to CNN.


House speaker John Boehner said in a statement that “If we are going to defeat this enemy, we need a comprehensive military strategy and a robust authorization, not one that limits our options.”


Boehner statement also said that “Any authorization for the use of military force must give our military commanders the flexibility and authorities they need to succeed and protect our people.


“I have concerns that the president’s request does not meet this standard,” Boehner continued.


The resolution would also put to rest the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which spawned the Iraq War.


President Obama withdrew American troops from Iraq in 2011. However, the military authorization remains in effect, according to CNN.


Editor’s Note: Information from CNN, NBC and USA Today was used in this report.