President Obama says, “Well, I think that our Head of the Intelligence Community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.”
Representative Gregg Harper, (R) 3rd District, says, “I’m certainly disappointed that the President would basically, in fact it’s the Commander in Chief, pass the buck and throw his entire intelligence community under the bus, basically blaming them.”
Originally Obama’s plan was to train the Iraqi army to fight ISIS for themselves and to only drop U.S. airstrikes. Sunday night, he said the U.S. might have to put boots on the ground. Congressman Steven Palazzo, (R) 4th District, says, “I do think boots on the ground are gonna’ be necessary, but we need a president that has a plan.”
Obama made it clear he has no interest in a U.S. ground presence beyond the 1,600 troops he has already ordered to Iraq. Harper also says, “Let’s not telegraph all of our moves, and to say what you’re gonna’ do or not going to do lets your enemies know what they can plan.”
Local lawmakers say 1,600 is an arbitrary number and wish Obama would make a decision. Talk around Capitol Hill is commit to war or don’t. Palazzo also says, “There’s a lot of discussion on we’re gonna’ degrade and destroy this threat. How are we gonna’ do it? You can’t go after an enemy or go into a war and not be all in.”
Congressman Palazzo tells News 25 he is concerned the military will not stand behind Obama if his stance on war is inconsistent. Palazzo also says, “So my friends in the military, they’re concerned this president is not all in. He’s not a competent Commander in Chief. They don’t have faith in him to commit America to this war effort and be all in.”
One thing Washington can agree on is that ISIS is a serious threat, one that should not be taken lightly. Palazzo says action needs to be taken as soon as possible. He closes, “We gotta’ attack the ISIL or ISIS threat immediately. We gotta’ defeat it.”
Palazzo says training the Iraqi army is estimated to take up to five years.