CNN: U.S. preparing for airstrikes in Iraq, decision coming as soon as ‘this weekend’

posted at 12:01 pm on June 13, 2014 by Noah Rothman

“There is a real sense of urgency over here at the White House,” reported CNN’s Jim Acosta on Friday. He added that the president is mulling his options for dealing with the situation in Iraq and will make a decision about how to address the worsening crisis as early as this weekend.

Acosta added that Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that the Pentagon has been conducting surveillance operations over Iraq in order to provide the president with a military options should he decide to pursue them.

“We have already taken some immediate steps, including providing enhanced aerial surveillance support to assist the Iraqis in this fight,” Kerry told reporters in London on Friday. “We have also ramped up shipments of military aid to Iraq since the beginning of the year.”

Iraqi officials have requested American air support in order to roll back the onslaught of ISIS fighters who have taken control of a number of major cities over the past several days. CNN’s Barbara Starr also reported that Barbara the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush has been routed from N. Arabian Sea to Persian Gulf. “Everyone I’ve talked to seems to be ruling out the notion of drones in any significant way,” she said.

However, as CNN also reported on Friday, defense officials are also concerned that airstrikes may not be effective as some hope. “Calls for American air strikes have increased in Washington, but U.S. military planners trying to find a way to help Iraq fend off the militant fighters are worried that such attacks could prove futile, several officials told CNN,” the report read.

Among other complications, U.S. officials don’t have good intelligence about where militants are. Even if they did, the militants don’t have the type of targets — command and control centers, air defense sites, military bases — that lend themselves to aerial attacks, the officials said on condition of not being identified.

Given the political headaches that would result for this administration, one which campaigned on the issue of extricating the United States from Iraq’s internal affairs after seven years of war, the prospect of mounting potentially ineffective strikes against ISIS militants is probably not an enticing one.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

btw..
what was the authorization vote count Kennedy got from congress
on his declaration of war??

going2mars on June 13, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Is that this weekend before or after tee time?

2. Why are you claiming that Bush and Cheney got us into this mess? This “mess” started in 1990. Were you under the impression that our troops in Saudi Arabia over the next decade – that caused the founding of Al Qaeda – that caused 9/11 – wasn’t a mess?

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:50 PM

No this mess started in ’79 when Bucketmouth Carter let the mullahs take over Iran.

formwiz on June 13, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Why are you claiming that Bush and Cheney got us into this mess? This “mess” started in 1990. Were you under the impression that our troops in Saudi Arabia over the next decade – that caused the founding of Al Qaeda – that caused 9/11 – wasn’t a mess?

blink on June 13, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Ha…you are working hard.
How can you leave out the Achaemenid Empire in 600 BC?
BDS…it’ll do that to you.

verbaluce on June 13, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Keep Obama in preznit, you know?
He gave us a phone!
He gonna do more!

Galtian on June 13, 2014 at 6:03 PM

“We have also ramped up shipments of military aid to Iraq since the beginning of the year.”

Lets hope its nothing more than his usual military aid package: MREs

BobMbx on June 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Worthless, pathetic loser. Buffoon. Clown.

Embarrassment.

951 days and counting.

Adjoran on June 13, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Worthless, pathetic loser. Buffoon. Clown.

Embarrassment.

951 days and counting.

Adjoran on June 13, 2014 at 9:40 PM

I pray everyday for an intervening act (impeachment, etc) that makes it a lot sooner…

Doomsday on June 14, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Jihadi Oil Filter Man: Kill me now, or kill me later.

NoPain on June 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Obama already made two important military concessions to the enemy:
1. We won’t send any ground forces ever (score!)
2. You have the whole weekend to consolidate your recent gains (excellent!)

Diplomatically, he also advised that the people of Iraq are really on their own on this one.

This statement is a re-iteration of his pointless West Point speech where he basically said military action isn’t always the solution. He is hard-pressed to think of any situation, beyond holding an umbrella for him, in which the military should be involved.

virgo on June 16, 2014 at 1:23 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3