Rep. Adam Schiff Statement on President's Address Tonight on ISIS and Syria

Washington, DC –Tonight, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior Member of the Intelligence Committee, released the following statement after the President addressed the nation about his strategy to degrade and destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria:

“President Obama made a solid case for American action, in concert with our allies and regional partners, to degrade and destroy ISIL. He set out the threat that ISIL poses to the United States, what it will take to meet that threat and the outline of our strategy going forward. In the wake of the brutal murder of two Americans and slaughter of countless others, ISIL represents a force unparalleled in its barbarity.

"I view the President's speech as a good opening statement, rather than the closing argument, in the case for American military action and expect to hear more from Administration officials in the days and weeks to come on how this effort can be successful.

“The President was right to rule out the deployment of American ground forces to fight ISIL, and to make it clear to the nation that this will not become another massive military occupation as in Afghanistan or previously in Iraq. I was also encouraged by one thing the President did not announce tonight – and that is the initiation of a massive air campaign in Syria. I’ve been supportive of limited airstrikes in Iraq to degrade ISIL because these were undertaken in concert with Iraqi and Kurdish forces operating on the ground there.  We do not have similar ground forces, intelligence assets or in-country allies in Syria, and we should be wary of rushing into Syria with a broad campaign of airstrikes that would lack the same effectiveness while exposing our pilots to considerable risk. While the President is right to let the American people know ISIL will be granted no safe haven, he is also right not to go rushing into the terrible abyss that Syria has become.

"The President said he would welcome Congressional approval of his plans, but I would go further – a vote in Congress is a constitutional prerequisite to the kind of sustained military campaign the President laid out, and which may well outlive this Presidency."