Thursday, January 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

As Obama mulls Iraq options, Garamendi ‘deeply skeptical’ of military action

By
From page A1 | June 19, 2014 |

GaramendiW

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove. Courtesy photo

Rep. John Garamendi on Wednesday introduced an amendment to the defense appropriations bill requiring President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval before returning to sustained military action in Iraq.

Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, introduced the bill with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, following a classified briefing from defense and intelligence officials to the House Armed Services Committee.

“In 2003, Congress should have resisted the rush to a war of choice with Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent us from repeating the mistakes of my predecessors,” Garamendi said in a statement. “I am deeply skeptical of reigniting America’s involvement in Iraq’s civil war, and if my amendment is adopted, we’ll at least ensure a serious debate on the merits of returning to Iraq.”

The amendment would limit defense funding from being spent on military action if it violates the War Powers Resolution.

For now, Obama has shifted his focus away from airstrikes in Iraq as an imminent option for slowing a fast-moving Islamic insurgency, in part because there are few clear targets that U.S. could hit, officials said.

Officials said the president has made no final decisions and ultimately could approve limited strikes if stronger targets emerge. The CIA and other spy agencies are scrambling to close intelligence gaps in the region and track the movements of key figures in the militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which seized Mosul, Tikrit and other towns in Iraq as the country’s military melted away.

The president summoned top congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the collapsing security situation. The relentless violence marks the greatest threat to Iraq’s stability since the U.S. military withdrew at the end of 2011 after more than eight years of war.

Ahead of his meeting at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the U.S. had no business sending American troops into the midst of what he called Iraq’s civil war.

“It’s time for the Iraqis to resolve it themselves,” said Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Taking on Republicans who have blamed the current violence on the withdrawal of U.S. forces, Reid said, “Those who attack President Obama for bringing our troops home from Iraq are wrong and out of step with the American people. After a decade of war, the American people have had enough. American families have had enough.”

Obama has ruled out returning combat troops to Iraq in order to quell the insurgency. However, he has notified Congress that up to 275 armed U.S. forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. interests.

Garamendi’s amendment would not affect the Obama administration’s plan to increase embassy security.

Officials have said Obama is also considering sending a small contingent of special operations forces to help train the Iraqi military. Other options under consideration in include boosting Iraq’s intelligence about the militants and more broadly, encouraging the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad to become more inclusive.

The U.S. has also made initial overtures to its longtime foe Iran, which has an interest in seeing the Iraqi government survive, though officials have ruled out the possibility of military cooperation with Tehran.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Wednesday that he opposed outreach to Iran because it sends the wrong message to American allies in the Middle East given that the Islamic republic is alleged to have sponsored terrorism in the region. Boehner is among the leaders who will meet with Obama at the White House.

The most aggressive option under consideration at the White House has been airstrikes, most likely by drones, though officials have also looked at the possibility of launching strikes from manned aircrafts. However, at this point, officials have been unable to identify clear targets the U.S. could hit in Iraq that could slow the militants’ momentum.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that the U.S. does have a request from the Iraqi government for the Obama administration to use air power to stop the militants.

The officials would not be quoted by name because they were not authorized to discuss the classified details publicly.

Garamendi, who opposed the Iraq war, has called for the administration to speed up its withdrawal from Afghanistan. He also opposed taking military action in Syria.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Work continues to modernize Davis Healthcare Center

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Holman continues to educate and inspire

    By Daniella Tutino | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    ‘Huck’ and ‘Tom’ float old Arboretum dock to removal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Teens arrested after midnight joyride

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Biologists: Raising California dam would harm salmon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Overweight video game avatars ‘play’ worse than fit ones

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Author joins radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Make your own SoulCollage on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Walk through Quail Ridge Reserve on Feb. 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Calling all chicken owners: Apply for coop crawl, share information

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Hopmans named associate vice provost for global affairs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Review motivation to refresh your healthy-habits plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Tips to protect skin this winter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    For health and healthy appearance, there’s just one quick fix

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Measles outbreak grows

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    NAMI-Yolo examines inpatient services at potluck

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Basement living, with attitude to match

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Can climate change bring us together?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Paso Fino coming to a vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    50 years since Ash Hall

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Sports

    Two in a row for Devil boys

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies still looking for record hoops win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Blue Devil Hammond has a huge day at home

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Pent up? Join Davis’ latest athletic event

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie football players crack the books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Harper hoopsters off to hot start

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Treys send Toronto past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    College Corner: Have wanderlust? Go overseas for college

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: A8

    District learns from bomb threat incident

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A8

     
    It’s Girl Scout Cookie time!

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Feenstra-Fisher wedding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Arts

    Show explores the evolution of dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    A rose by any other name — if there is one

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A11

     
    Acclaimed guitarist Adrian Legg to play at The Palms on Saturday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    James George Tingus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, January 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B6