Obama refuses to rule out more US-led invasions
Published Monday, May 28, 2012
US President Barack Obama refused to rule out further invasions in the Middle East as he spoke to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on Monday.
Obama said sending troops into battle was the “most wrenching decision” a president could ever make but refused to specifically rule out attacks on Iran and Syria, saying the country would attack if "necessary."
The majority of US troops left Iraq last year after a decade-long occupation that destroyed the country, while thousands remain in Afghanistan despite opposition.
"As commander in chief, I can tell you that sending our troops into harm's way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make," Obama said at a ceremony commemorating US soldiers who have been killed in previous wars.
"I can promise you I will never do so unless it is absolutely necessary and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation."
Obama did not mention tension with either Iran or Syria, with suggestions that US forces could be involved in attacks on either country in the coming months.
Israel has consistently called for a bombing campaign against Iran's alleged nuclear program, but is unlikely to attack with backing from its key ally the US.
The US President appeared to be referring to war only in terms of physical invasions and not bombing campaigns.
Since becoming president in 2010 Obama has expanded the use of drone attacks in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere, despite fury from the national governments that it murders civilians.