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Obama Deliberates Action In Iraq, McCain Cringes

Francesca Bessey |
June 13, 2014 | 11:13 a.m. PDT

Senior Opinion Editor

In the wake of mounting violence in Iraq, President Obama said Friday that he will not send ground forces to protect the flailing Iraqi government from Islamic militants, however he and his national security team are considering other options, in particular airstrikes.

Speaking outside the White House, Obama said that he will make a decision "in the days ahead" about what sort of military force, if any, will be used. 

"This poses a danger to Iraq and its people and, given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat eventually to American interests as well," he said of the crisis.

Obama also cautioned the American public not to expect immediate action and that any air strike would take several days of planning in order to gather the necessary intelligence. He did not say whether he would seek a Congressional vote on any airstrikes.

Whatever his decision, Obama will have a hard time gaining the support of his ancient rival, Senator John McCain (R-AZ). On an episode of "Morning Joe" Friday, he declared that there are really "no good options right now," but even if there were, "just airstrikes" wouldn't be one of them.

"We had it won," McCain said. "If we left the residual force behind we would not be facing the crisis today."

While also advising that the entire national security team be fired, McCain warned that the same violence will likely erupt in Afghanistan if the Obama administration makes the same negligent decision to withdraw troops.



Reach Senior Opinion Editor Francesca Bessey here; follow her here.



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