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Boehner wants Obama plan to curb Mideast violence

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:30 a.m. CST
Caption
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio talks to reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Boehner and congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama yesterday about the ongoing crisis in Iraq. The speaker charged that terrorism and the unrest in the Middle East had worsened during Obama's term.

WASHINGTON — Terrorism has grown dramatically on President Barack Obama's watch and it's time for him to present a plan for curbing its spread, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday.

Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters that he's long called on Obama to take more action against terrorism, which he said has "increased exponentially" under this administration.

"You look at this presidency, and you can't help but get the sense that the wheels are coming off," Boehner said.

Limited U.S. airstrikes are among the options that have been discussed as a way to support the Iraqi government's fight against a fast-moving offensive by Sunni militants. Boehner said he couldn't tell if that option would be effective until more is known about overall U.S. strategy.

"In and of itself, it's not the answer," he said.

Boehner spoke to reporters shortly before Obama was scheduled to speak at the White House about the deteriorating situation in Iraq, which is threatening to devolve into a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites.

Boehner says Obama must craft a strategy for combating terrorism in the entire Middle East, not just Iraq.

"How do we reduce the number of terrorists that are out there hurting Americans abroad, hurting our assets abroad and frankly building safe havens to organize and attack Americans here," Boehner said. "This is a very serious problem, very serious."

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