White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest admitted Wednesday that President Obama's refusal to commit more ground troops to the fight against the Islamic State is prolonging the war.
"The other reason this is going to take awhile," Earnest said at the daily press briefing, "is that the president does not believe it is in the interest of the United States for us to commit all of our military resources to going in and solving this problem for the Iraqi people or for the Syrian people."
"The United States has the bravest most well equipped best trained fighting force in the world," Earnest continued. "It is a logical assumption that if U.S. military resources were committed and we were going to go in there and do this on our own, that the timeline would be shorter."
Obama is currently seeking an affirmation from Congress for his strategy against the Islamic State, even though the vast majority of the American people believe Obama has no strategy.
The White House has framed the resolution they are seeking from Congress as a "Authorization for Use of Military Force." But the White House again stressed Wednesday that Obama believes the existing 2001 AUMF already gives him every authorization he needs to fight the Islamic State.
Asked to confirm that the White House believes a failure by Congress to pass Obama's new AUMF would have "no practical impact" on his exercise of force, Earnest replied, "Well the president does believe that he has the authority that he needs to order the military actions that have already taken place. So the answer to your question is 'yes' because the president believes the Congress has already given him this authority."
Obama's AUMF does repeal the 2002 AUMF that President Bush secured from Congress before his war in Iraq, but it does nothing to change, limit, or repeal the 2001 AUMF that Bush secured before his war in Afghanistan.