The White House couldn’t be any more clearer that they aren’t going to fight ISIS despite the grave threat it poses to all of Iraq. Instead they are saying that this is something Iraq will have to figure out for itself, and that the US won’t be drawn into any prolonged conflict nor will it provide troops to Iraq in a combat role.
REPORTER: So is it the president’s belief or hopes that the actions he authorized yesterday effectively will buy time so the Iraqis will be able to organize their government and their defense forces in order to repeal ISIS?
WHITE HOUSE: Well, I don’t think I would describe it that way and I don’t think the president did either. Again, what I would do, the primary goal of the mission the president authorized last night was the protection of American personnel in Iraq. The president authorized the military action to address an urgent, even dire humanitarian situation on Sinjar Mountain and more generally a willingness on the part of the American people to continue to stand with the people of Iraq as they pursue a future that is reflective of the diverse population of the nation of Iraq.
And that future is under grave threat by ISISL extremists who are making advances across that country. Our desire, and it is in the clear interest of American national security for us to support the Iraqi people as they confront that threat.
But again this is a threat we cannot confront for them. It is a threat that can only be met and defeated by a unified Iraq in support of an integrated capable Iraq security force. If that requires the support of the American military, that is support we’re ready to offer. But we will not offer it in the form of a prolonged military conflict that involves the United States of America and it will not involve American troops returning to Iraq in a combat role.