Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gop Pa. Lawmakers Say Action Is Too Little, Too Late

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gop Pa. Lawmakers Say Action Is Too Little, Too Late

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's announced plans for a military and diplomatic response to the Islamic State left some Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers with questions and concerns about what they characterize as a delayed and inadequate response to a serious threat.

Even the harshest administration critics among them, though, said Wednesday night that the president is right to intervene. It's never easy to authorize military engagement, but the administration can't stand by when the U.S. could be the Islamic State's next target, they said.

Mr. Obama's televised address to the nation Wednesday night "was a step in the right direction, but rhetoric and speeches which only raise more questions simply won't cut it," said Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Blair. "Our commander in chief's decision to prematurely pull the troops out of Iraq to fulfill campaign promises, along with his inexcusable delay in outlining a strategy . has left our nation vulnerable."

Mr. Shuster and other Republicans say the American people want an aggressive and sustained response.

"Defeating the growing ISIS terrorist organization will not be accomplished by half-measures or happen overnight. It demands a long-term commitment on all fronts: military, diplomacy and coalition-building with nations that are not dependable international partners," Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said referring to the Islamic State by one of its acronyms.

"How far the American public is willing to go for an 'all-in' strategy remains to be seen, but even the president's short-term vision to push back ISIS will require a partnership with Congress because he cannot constitutionally go it alone," Mr. Murphy said.

The president knows as much. That's why in his speech he asked Congress to authorize resources to train and equip Syrian opposition forces to defend themselves.

U.S. Rep. Glenn "G.T." Thompson noted the president's "distinct policy shift" to include putting American troops on the ground and to expand military operations into Syria. …

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