(2015-02-12) — With the threat of an Islamic State conquest of Iraq and Syria growing by the day, President Obama has written to Congress for authorization to announce a future pullout date for any and all troops on a specified public timeline “without regard to battlefield conditions or the status of the enemy.”
Republicans have criticized Mr. Obama for past kinetic military actions taken on his own authority, insisting he should have sought the Constitutionally-required Congressional approval. But the White House said he’s learned his lesson.
“The president heard the message from the voters in November,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, “so, this time he’s extending an olive branch, asking in advance for the power to withdraw our troops from enemy territory that we have not yet entered, and where he has committed to keeping American boots off of the ground. In essence, he’s asking to retreat in advance as a way to prevent an ill-fated American invasion, and to get us out quickly if we accidentally invade.”
In the authorization request, Mr. Obama assures Congress that he “will not conduct the war in a manner conducive to so-called ‘victory,’ as that would produce bad feelings against the United States and become a recruiting tool for fanatics who twist the religion of peace for selfish reasons.”
The White House said the president still reserves to himself the executive branch power to strategically leak military secrets to the media, to draw ‘red lines’ in order to sound serious, to make lukewarm public statements in which our troops sound like victims to be pitied rather than heroes to be honored, and to convey to oppressed peoples the false hope of American support.”