08.25.14

Wall Street Journal: Pressure Mounts On Obama to Act

Colleen McCain Nelson and Adam Entous report on Congressional opinions for and against stronger airstrikes against ISIL.

President Barack Obama faces pressure at home and in the Middle East to quickly step up strikes at Islamic State militants, but also reluctance from some within his own party and European allies do so.

The leading options under consideration for strikes in Syria—if Mr. Obama decides to expand the fight—are narrow in scope, designed to prevent the Islamic State from carrying out any plots that threaten Americans and from resupplying its forces in neighboring Iraq. Officials played down prospects for a broad-based campaign to uproot and destroy Islamic State's vast fighting force in Syria.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, agreed with his Republican counterparts that the Islamic State was "probably the most prominent risk that we have faced since 9/11," but he voiced doubt that Mr. Obama would authorize airstrikes in Syria against the group.

"I think he's going to hear out the military commanders and what their recommendations or options are. But we don't have the same capabilities on the ground in Syria that we do in Iraq," Mr. Schiff told NBC's "Today". "And so airstrikes alone, without coordination on the ground, would be very limited in effect. And I think the president is unlikely to go there in the near term."

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By:  Colleen McCain Nelson and Adam Entous
Source: Wall Street Journal