The President took a few moments to talk to reporters before departing for the Father’s Day weekend. He stated in his opening comments that “we will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraq security forces. This is not going to happen overnight.” He continued with, “We can’t do it for them.” Obama said that we would do our part to support the Iraqis, but ultimately it is up to them as a sovereign nation to solve their own problems without going to war or relying on the U.S. military to intervene.
“This is a regional problem, and it’s going to be a long-term problem.” The Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL) has seized control of the key Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit, and it has gained facilities in the oil-refining town of Baji. When asked about possible oil flow disruption to the United States, the president said that our goal is to have some of the other oil producers in the Gulf pick up the slack. Perhaps this is another argument in favor of oil independence by building the Keystone pipeline.
Obama ended the news conference by boarding Marine 1 for a trip to North Dakota and Palm Springs for the weekend.