At the White House this afternoon, Speaker Boehner met with President Obama, Leader Reid, Leader McConnell, and Leader Pelosi for a discussion of the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The President began the meeting by laying out some of the ideas he has already discussed publicly about how to combat this threat.
The Speaker said the spread of radicalized Islam is a global epidemic and our national objective must be to defeat and destroy ISIL. He asked the president to define success in those terms when he addresses the nation tomorrow night. The Speaker expressed support for certain options that have been proposed by the president, such as increasing the effectiveness of the Iraqi Security Forces and training and equipping the Syrian opposition. The Speaker made it clear that ISIL is preparing to fight us, and that as we learned in Syria, the longer we wait, the more difficult our choices become. It is in the best interests of the United States and our allies to put in place a strategy that rises to the challenge of the threat we face, and takes the fight directly to ISIL in a decisive fashion, the Speaker said.
The Speaker stated he would support the President if he chose to deploy the military to help train and play an advisory role for the Iraqi Security Forces and assist with lethal targeting of ISIL leadership. Lastly, the Speaker made clear that the administration should re-examine our border and homeland policies and authorities to determine whether there are loopholes or weaknesses that could expose the homeland to an immediate ISIL-linked attack.
The Speaker looks forward to hearing the president outline a comprehensive strategy for destroying and defeating ISIL tomorrow night.