Obama: No Ground Combat in Iraq, Period

By CNSNews.com Staff | September 17, 2014 | 1:40pm EDT

President Barack Obama at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama said in a speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., today that he will not commit U.S. forces to fighting "another ground war in Iraq," and explained that he had built a coalition of nations to help Iraq combat Islamic State terrorists.

Here are excerpts from the president's speech:

Obama: The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission.  They will support Iraqi forces on the ground as they fight for their own country against these terrorists.

As your Commander-in-Chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.  After a decade of massive ground deployments, it is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners on the ground so they can secure their own countries’ futures.  And that's the only solution that will succeed over the long term.


We’ll use our air power.  We will train and equip our partners.  We will advise them and we will assist them.  We will lead a broad coalition of countries who have a stake in this fight.  Because this is not simply America versus ISIL -- this is the people of the region fighting against ISIL.  It is the world rejecting the brutality of ISIL in favor of a better future for our children, and our children’s children -- all of them.

But we're not going to do this alone. ...

And because we’re leading in the right way, more nations are joining us.  Overall, more than 40 countries so far have offered assistance to the broad campaign against ISIL.  Some nations will assist from the air -- and already France and the United Kingdom are flying with us over Iraq, with others committed to join this effort.

Some nations will help us support the forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.  And already Saudi Arabia has agreed to host our efforts to train and equip Syrian opposition forces.  Australia and Canada will send military advisors to Iraq.  German paratroopers will offer training.  Other nations have helped resupply arms and equipment to forces in Iraq, including the Kurdish Pershmerga.

Arab nations have agreed to strengthen their support for Iraq’s new government and to do their part in all the aspects of the fight against ISIL.  And our partners will help to cut off ISIL funding, and gather intelligence, and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East.

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