WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after President Obama’s speech tonight on the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):
“The president tonight recanted his earlier dismissals of ISIL’s capabilities and rightly acknowledged the grave and growing threat posed by the spreading global epidemic of radicalized Islam. He has finally begun to make the case the nation has needed him to make for quite some time: that destroying this terrorist threat requires decisive action and must be the highest priority for the United States and other nations of the free world.
“A speech is not the same thing as a strategy, however. While the president presented a compelling case for action, many questions remain about the way in which the president intends to act. For example, I support the president’s plan to train and equip the Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian opposition, but I remain concerned that those measures could take years to fully implement at a time when ISIL’s momentum and territorial gains need to be immediately halted and reversed. It is also a cause for concern that the president appears to view the effort against ISIL as an isolated counterterrorism campaign, rather than as what it must be: an all-out effort to destroy an enemy that has declared a holy war against America and the principles for which we stand.
“The administration has made an effort in recent days to brief members of the House and Senate on the range of options the president is contemplating. Those briefings and consultations will continue as members review his proposals, and I hope we can continue a dialogue about how to most effectively confront and destroy this enemy. House Republicans will meet tomorrow morning to discuss next steps.”