Friday, March 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

GOP leader: Obama may act in Iraq without signoff

Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi

President Barack Obama meets with, from left, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Obama briefed leaders of Congress on US options for blunting an Islamic insurgency in Iraq. US officials say Obama is not yet prepared to move forward with strikes and is instead focused on increased training for Iraq's security forces, boosting Iraqi intelligence capacities and upgrading equipment. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

By
From page A1 | June 19, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and congressional leaders believe he does not need authorization from Congress for some steps he might take to quell the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency sweeping through Iraq, the Senate’s top Republican and Capitol Hill aides said after the president briefed senior lawmakers Wednesday.

Still, the prospect of the president sidestepping Congress raises the potential for clashes between the White House and rank-and-file lawmakers, particularly if Obama should launch strikes with manned aircrafts or take other direct U.S. military action in Iraq. Administration officials have said airstrikes have become less a focus of recent deliberations but have also said the president could order such a step if intelligence agencies can identify clear targets on the ground.

Obama huddled in the Oval Office for over an hour to discuss options for responding the crumbling security situation in Iraq with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Speaking to reporters as he returned to the Capitol, McConnell said the president “indicated he didn’t feel he had any need for authority from us for steps that he might take.”

Pelosi concurred with the president, saying in a statement after the meeting that Obama does not need “any further legislative authority to pursue the particular options for increased security assistance discussed today.” She did not specify what options were discussed.

The White House has publicly dodged questions about whether Obama might seek congressional approval if he decides to take military action. Last summer, Obama did seek approval for possible strikes against Syria, but he scrapped the effort when it became clear that lawmakers would not grant him the authority.

However, administration officials have suggested that the president may be able to act on his own in this case because Iraq’s government has requested U.S. military assistance.

“I think it certainly is a distinction and difference worth noting,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday of the comparisons to the Syrian situation.

In addition, an authorization for the use of military force in Iraq, passed by Congress in 2002, is still on the books and could potentially be used as a rationale for the White House acting without additional approval. Before the outburst of violence in Iraq, Obama had called for that authorization to be repealed.

Some lawmakers were outraged when Obama launched military action in Libya in 2011 with minimal consultation with Congress and no formal authorization from Capitol Hill. More recently, some in Congress have complained that the White House did not consult on final plans for releasing five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for freeing detained American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

White House officials offered no timeline Wednesday for how soon Obama might decide on how to respond to the fast-moving militants from the group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has seized Mosul, Tikrit and other towns in Iraq as the country’s military melted away.

Obama’s decision-making on airstrikes has been complicated by intelligence gaps that resulted from the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq in late 2011, which left the country largely off-limits to American operatives. Intelligence agencies are now trying to close gaps and identify possible targets that include insurgent encampments, training camps, weapons caches and other stationary supplies, according to U.S. officials.

Officials also suggest that the U.S. could more easily identify targets on the ground if Obama would send in additional American trainers to work with Iraqi security forces. Obama is considering that possibility, the officials say, though he has ruled out sending troops for combat missions.

The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to describe classified details and private discussions by name.

Obama is certain to face resistance from congressional Democrats if he launches any major military response to the crisis in Iraq. Two House Democrats — John Garamendi of California and Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii — said Wednesday they would offer an amendment to the defense spending bill that would require congressional approval before any sustained military action in Iraq.

The House is debating the defense bill and is scheduled to finish it this week.

Beyond airstrikes, the White House has been considering plans to boost Iraq’s intelligence about the militants and, more broadly, has been encouraging the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad to become more inclusive.

Iraq’s once-dominant Sunni minority has long complained of discrimination by the government and security forces. The Obama administration has said that without long-term political changes, any short-term military solutions would be fleeting.

“The entire enterprise is at risk as long as this political situation is in flux,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel Wednesday. He added that some Iraqi security forces had backed down when confronted by the militants because they had “simply lost faith” in the central government in Baghdad.

Republicans continued to insist that Obama bears the blame for allowing the insurgency to strengthen because of his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq in late 2011 after more than eight years of war. Washington and Baghdad failed to reach a security agreement that would have allowed American forces to stay longer.

“What’s happening in Iraq is a direct result of the president’s misguided decisions,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine reservist who served two combat tours in Iraq. “Militarily, the U.S. won in Iraq, but the hard-fought and hard-earned gains of our servicemen and women have been politically squandered by the president and his administration.”

Despite withdrawing from Iraq, the U.S. has a range of ground, air and sea troops and assets in the region. There are six warships in the Persian Gulf, including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and the amphibious transport ship USS Mesa Verde, which is carrying about 550 Marines and five V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft.

There are about 5,000 U.S. soldiers across the Iraqi border in Kuwait as part of a routine rotational presence, several Air Force aircraft capable of a full range of missions, and intelligence gathering and surveillance assets, including drones, in the region.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Brasher new president, CEO of Jelly Belly

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

    Rio Vista singer ready for Rancho Cordova show

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    Everyday life inspires model’s music

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

    Hosting gig for comic, birthday party on weekend schedule

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
     
    Spring Fling set to return to Rancho Solano

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Kids fishing day events return

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
     
    Fairfield police log: March 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun police log: March 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    .

    US / World

    Lawyers dispute hoax claim, boyfriend says he was drugged

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Co-pilot believed to have purposefully crashed plane

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    L.A. river revamp to cost double previous projections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Governor awaits $1B drought relief bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    US drops graphic leaflet to possible Islamic State recruits

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    AP Exclusive: Special ops troops using flawed intel software

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    State to alter ban on where sex offenders can live

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Grateful Oklahomans salvage belongings after killer storm

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Fact Check: Myths in the political roar over Common Core

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    US: Chicago-area cousins planned US terrorist attack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Report: Teen says mom killed her siblings found in freezer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    House OKs bipartisan Medicare doctor bill; fate up to Senate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Talent agency wants Matt McConaughey speaking fee secret

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    US Thunderbolt II attack planes on training in Poland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Syrian government shells kill 18 in south, activists say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Turmoil in Yemen escalates as Saudi Arabia bombs rebels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Russian, American ready for a year in space

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Tunisians assure Star Wars sets safe from Islamic State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: March 27, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: March 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: March 27, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    Parents may be enabling son’s drinking and hurting his employment chances

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    Week in preview March 27 to April 3, 2015

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    ‘Downton Abbey’ to end after upcoming 6th season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    With ‘Downton Abbey’s coming demise, here are 5 past deaths

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Ken Burns unravels the mysteries of cancer in PBS film

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Review: Animated alien adventure ‘Home’ lands with a thud

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Entertainment Calendar: March 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Sports

    Prep swimming preview: City teams look to make big splash

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

     
    Marleau, Niemi lead Sharks past Red Wings 6-4

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

    Warriors can match franchise record for wins at Memphis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    San Diego city, county join forces on bid to keep NFL

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Labor, developers reach deal on proposed Inglewood stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Italians will pull out of America’s Cup if boats downsized

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Fiancee of Aaron Hernandez to be called to testify Friday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Stanford’s VanDerveer, Notre Dame’s McGraw to face off

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Former Germany coach Berti Vogts joins Klinsmann’s US staff

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Officials OK demolishing Irwindale Speedway for outlet mall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Signups for Friday, March 27, 2015

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B8

     
    Sharks sign 2 college players

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Top-seeded Wisconsin hangs to beat North Carolina 79-72

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    49ers waive OL Jonathan Martin after 1 season with team

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Notre Dame races by Wichita State 81-70 for Elite Eight spot

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Kentucky overwhelms West Virginia 78-39 in NCAA Sweet 16

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    This date in sports history for March 27, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

     
    Mirim Lee leads LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

     
    Charley Hoffman takes PGA lead in wind-swept Texas Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

    .

    Business

    Range Rover offers an exclusivity that’s rich with irony

    By The Washington Post | From Page: C1

     
    Google’s new CFO gets $70M for defecting from Morgan Stanley

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Bankruptcy hearing could decide fate of RadioShack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

     
    Microsoft wants US suppliers to give employees paid time off

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Lawmakers unhappy with new fracking rules

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

     
    Authorities go after crooked car deals in national crackdown

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Oil prices jump almost 5 percent as tensions mount in Yemen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

     
    New Samsung, HTC phones coming April 10 in US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9