GOP Calls for Broad Strategy in Iraq Ahead of White House Meetin - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

GOP Calls for Broad Strategy in Iraq Ahead of White House Meeting

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(NBC News) -- Congressional Republicans say President Barack Obama should lay out an overall strategy to deal with the unrest in Iraq and reconsider the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan during a meeting at the White House Wednesday afternoon.

Obama will meet with the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate for a foreign policy discussion as the GOP continues to assert that the president’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq in 2011 gave Sunni militants the opportunity to overtake a large swath of the northern part of the country.

House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will all be in attendance.

“What I’m hoping to hear from the president today is the broader strategy for how we help keep the freedom that we paid dearly for, for the people of Iraq,” Boehner said ahead of the meeting.

But at the White House press briefing on Wednesday, spokesman Jay Carney said the only decision the president has made at this point is that U.S. troops will not be sent into combat in Iraq.

“The meeting today will be part of a process of consultation with Congress,” Carney said. “The president obviously will inform the leaders of his thinking on some of these issues, but also will want to hear their thinking.”

Breaking with some in his own party, though, the Ohio Republican said he’s adamantly opposed to coordination with Iran in addressing the crisis.

“I can just imagine what our friends in the region – our allies – would be thinking by [the United States] reaching out to Iran at a time when they continue to pay for terrorists and foster terrorists not only in Syria, in Lebanon but in Israel as well,” Boehner said.

McConnell said he hopes the current turmoil in Iraq will persuade the president to reconsider the troop drawdown that will take place in Afghanistan over the next two years.

"I'm anxious to see what plan he may have, given where we are, but it certainly underscores the significance of the president reversing the decision he previously indicated he had made for us to leave Afghanistan entirely," McConnell told reporters Tuesday. "We know that if we don't leave behind a deployment that the military recommended in Afghanistan, roughly 10,000 troops, for counterterrorism purposes and training purposes, we're likely to see the same kind of meltdown in Afghanistan that we've seen in Iraq."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, largely credited as being one of the chief advocates for invading Iraq, joined Congressional Republicans in the slamming Obama on Wednesday by announcing a new foreign policy group “Alliance for a Strong America.”

"To the architects of the Iraq War, who are now so eager to offer their expert analysis, I say 'thanks but no thanks,'" Reid shot back. "Unfortunately we already tried it your way, and it was the biggest foreign policy blunder in the history of the country."

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