Following the Islamic State’s capture of the Iraqi city of Ramadi over the weekend, House Speaker John Boehner has called for a new strategy.
"With new gains made by (ISIS) in Ramadi, we know that hope is not a strategy," Boehner said during a press conference
with other Republican leaders Tuesday morning. "The president’s plan isn’t working. It’s time for him to come up with a real, overarching strategy to defeat the ongoing terrorist threat."
Boehner called for President Barack Obama to withdraw his authorization for use of military force (AUMF) and request one that "represents a clear, overarching strategy to defeat the terrorist threat."
The AUMF requested by Obama to fight the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) "calls for less authority" than he has under the 2001 authorization for war against al-Qaida and the Taliban, which the president has been relying on for the last year, according to The Washington Times.
"I just think, given the fight that we’re in, it’s irresponsible," said Boehner. "This is why the president, frankly, should withdraw the authorization of the use of military force and start over.
"We don’t have a strategy, and for those of you that come to these regularly, for over two years now I’ve been calling on the president to develop an overarching strategy to deal with this growing terrorist threat. We don’t have one. And the fact is, the threat is growing faster than what we and our allies can do to stop it."
Over the weekend, the Islamic State captured Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar Province, located 70 miles west of Baghdad, resulting in a bevy of critics of the Obama administration’s efforts in the region — including Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain
, who characterized the U.S. campaign as "an indecisive air campaign" lacking a broad strategy to degrade and destroy the violent terror group.
Equally concerning, according to McCain and Graham, are reports indicating that Iranian-backed Shiite militias are preparing to launch a counteroffensive in the largely Sunni province.
"Whatever operational success Shia militias may have in Anbar would be far exceeded by the strategic damage caused by their violent sectarianism and the fear and suspicion it breeds among Iraqi Sunnis," McCain and Graham said. "Moreover, the prominent role of these militias continues to feed the perception of a Baghdad government unable or unwilling to protect Sunnis.
"Shia militants and Iranian meddling will only foster the conditions that gave [rise] to ISIL in the first place. Defeating ISIL requires empowering Sunnis who want to rise up and fight ISIL themselves, including by integrating them into Iraq’s security forces and providing more robust American military assistance."
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