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Boehner: ‘An F-16 Is Not a Strategy’ (Video)

Boehner faces questions over the cost of the House lawsuit against the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Boehner faces questions over the cost of the House lawsuit against the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner forcefully beat the drums of war Thursday, suggesting more action would be needed to defeat Islamic State group terrorists than just U.S. air strikes or the arming of Syrian rebels.  

“An F-16 is not a strategy,” Boehner said during his weekly news conference. “And airstrikes alone will not accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish.”  

Boehner said President Barack Obama had made clear that he doesn’t want U.S. boots on the ground. “Well somebody’s boots have to be on the ground,” Boehner said.

The Ohio Republican said there’s concern among Republicans that the plan the president laid out Wednesday evening to defeat ISIL, also known as ISIS, would accomplish that goal. “And so, frankly,” Boehner said, “a lot of our members think a lot more needs to be done than what was laid out last night.”  

Boehner said Congress was just at “the beginning stages” of a strategy to defeat ISIL, and he foreshadowed that Congress and the president would need to do more.  

Republicans are currently considering including in the continuing resolution a White House request that would allow the administration to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight ISIL. Boehner said there had not been a decision whether the House would put that so-called Title 10 authority in the CR, or vote on it separately. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed support for putting it in the CR roughly an hour before Boehner’s comments in the same room.  

Whether it’s included, that vote could be among the first in a series of legislative actions taken to address ISIL or even authorize a war that is looking increasingly likely.  


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