Obama: AUMF ‘Does Not Call for Deployment of U.S. Ground Combat Forces’
BARACK OBAMA: "The resolution we've submitted today does not call for the deployment of U.S. ground combat forces to Iraq or Syria. It is not the authorization of another ground war like Afghanistan or Iraq. The 2600 American troops in Iraq today, largely serve on bases. And yes, they face the risks that come with service in any dangerous environment. But they do not have a combat mission. They are focused on training Iraqi forces, including Kurdish forces. As I've said before, I'm convinced that the United States should not get dragged into another ground war in the Middle East. That is not in our national security interest and it is not necessary for us to defeat ISIL. Local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to ISIL and that is what they are doing. At the same time this resolution strikes the necessary balance by giving us the flexibility we need for unforeseen circumstances. For example, if we had actionable intelligence about a gathering of ISIL leaders, and our partners didn't have the capacity to get them, I would be prepared to order our special forces to take action, because I will not let these terrorists have a safe haven."