Saxby Chambliss: Obama Has No Goal in Iraq

Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 07:01 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Saxby Chambliss says President Barack Obama's decision to send 300 military advisers to Iraq has one hole: He doesn’t state a goal or a plan for achieving one.

"Are they going to be there in an advisory capacity only, or are they there to carry out joint operations?" Chambliss, of Georgia Republican, ranking GOP member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Thursday on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

Obama said the additional military advisers will train and work with Iraqi security forces, but that they would also set up "joint operation centers" in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. He also said in the Thursday press briefing that the United States would not be involved militarily.

Chambliss was not impressed.

"Three hundred Americans is not going to solve the problem of stopping the advance of this group that is more extreme than, literally, core al-Qaida," he told CNN.

Chambliss also said Obama should have an intelligence "surge" before taking action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group taking over a large swath of northern Iraq.

Chambliss said that Obama sounded from his press briefing as if he doesn't want to use manned aircraft to attack ISIS.

"He's probably thinking more about drones than he is about sending F-16s or some tactical aircraft in there," Chamblis said.

Chambliss defended America's interest in the region being partly about oil. The United States isn't interested in war simply to keep gas prices low, he said, but it is undeniable that oil is still a major need in the American economy.

That necessitates a stable Middle East, he said.

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