Obama: Iraq Intervention Will Be 'Long Term'

'I don't think we're going to solve this problem in weeks,' he says

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 9, 2014 11:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – While President Obama reiterated today that he won't let the US get dragged back into a ground war in Iraq, he said the newly restarted airstrikes won't be ending anytime soon, reports the New York Times. “I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks,” Obama said at the White House. “This is going to be a long-term project.” The problem he's referring to is the advance of militants with the Islamic State, or ISIS, and the president again used the word "genocide" to describe the threat faced by fleeing Iraqi minorities. The airstrikes are intended to help them and to protect US personnel in the country.

“We’re not moving our embassy anytime soon,” he said. “We are going to maintain vigilance and ensure that our people are safe.” Obama also offered a not-so-subtle incentive for Iraq to finally form a government that brings together, Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds, reports the Washington Post. If that happens, the US is prepared to “not just play defense but engage in some offense” to fend off extremists bent on taking over the country, he said. (Click to read about how Obama says he learned a key lesson from US involvement in Libya.)

President Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House Saturday.
President Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House Saturday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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