HASC Leaders Ask Obama Administration to “Speak Plainly”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) asked National Security Advisor Susan Rice to clarify the Obama Administration’s position regarding its authority to defeat ISIS. The letter, dated Sept. 25, questions why Rice, in a letter addressed to the House speaker two months ago, sought to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force in Iraq agreement. “Although we believed at the time that this request was short-sighted and unnecessary, we would like to understand why the Administration has reversed its position,” states the letter, referencing Obama’s decision to use his authority under the same law to deploy 475 troops to Iraq. “Ambassador Rice, we respectfully urge you and the President to speak plainly to the American people,” states the letter. “They understand that the United States is back in combat in Iraq. They understand that it’s not the same mission or force that we employed in 2002 or during the surge in 2007. But they also understand that the lack of decisive and sustained action in both Iraq and Syria will limit our options to defeat [ISIS], short of a massive US ground force.”