Obama on Iraq: ‘We Can’t Do It for Them’

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President Obama delivered a statement Friday morning on the developing situation in Iraq, promising not to be “dragged” back into a war there, but to consider over the next few days “a range of other options that could help support security forces.” As the ISIS storms toward Baghdad, met along the way with white flags, Obama assured, “We will not be sending US troops back into combat in Iraq.” Still, he offered, the instability “could pose a threat, eventually, to American interests as well.”

“I do want to be clear, though: This is not solely or even primarily a military challenge,” said Obama. “Any action that we may take to provide assistance to Iraqi security forces has to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq's leaders.”

“We can't do it for them,” he said. “Ultimately it's up the Iraqis as a sovereign nation to solve their problems.”

CNN reports that the United States plans to move an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf today, leaving open the possibility of air strikes, although no decision has been made. “You just don’t say, ‘hey, let’s go hit something,’” explained John McCain. “It requires coordination, it requires intelligence; it requires a whole lot of things.”

President Obama said decisions will not happen overnight, but in the next several days. “The fact that they are not willing to stand and fight and defend their posts,” he said of the Iraqi soldiers, “indicates that there’s a problem with morale. There’s a problem in terms of commitment.”