During a brief statement at the White House, President Obama made it clear that he has no interest in sending US ground troops to the Middle East to fight ISIL.
President Obama outlined the successes in the campaign to destroy ISIL, and then explained what his request for a use of force authorization does not do.
The president said:
The resolution we’ve submitted does not call for the deployment of US ground combat forces to Iraq or Syria. It is not the authorization of another ground war like Afghanistan or Iraq. The 2,600 American troops in Iraq today largely serve on basis, and yes, they face the risks that come with service in any dangerous environment, but they do not have a combat mission. They are focused on training Iraqi forces, including Kurdish forces, and 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. It is not national security interests, and it’s not necessary to defeat ISIL. Local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to ISIL and that’s what they’re doing.
The president promised that as Commander In Chief he would only send our troops into harm’s way when it is absolutely necessary for our national security. Obama explained why he wanted to repeal the 2002 authorization of force because he does not believe in an endless war.
Congressional Democrats have expressed concerns about some of the vague language in the proposed authorization that the President sent to Congress while Republicans are angry that the authorization limits the use of ground troops. Congressional Republicans have immediately slipped back into their failed Bush foreign policy mindsets by calling for American boots on the ground against ISIL.
The president made it very clear that he does not believe that the US should send combat troops back to the Middle East. Obama’s comments appear designed to ease the concerns of some Democrats. The American people are tired of war, and President Obama’s remarks should quiet some of the fears on the left that US combat troops will be deployed again to the Middle East.