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SOTU Scoop
June 13th, 2014
05:38 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, June 13, 2014.

1. Chaos in Iraq.  President Obama is ruling out a return of any U.S. troops to Iraq to help fight rapidly deteriorating situation in that country. The terrorist group ISIS has taken over large swaths of the country as it continues its push toward Baghdad.  The president said the U.S. is prepared to assist the Iraqi government short of boots on the ground. "We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraq security forces and I'll be reviewing those options in the days ahead, " Obama told reporters Friday before leaving on a trip. He also challenged Iraq's leaders to work toward a political solution to end the country's sectarian violence.  "We can't do it for them and in the absence of this type of political effort, short term military action, including any assistance we might provide, won't succeed," the President said.

2. Hillary Clinton's new Iraq stance.  Hillary Clinton says she opposes using U.S. military airstrikes to quell the ISIS onslaught in Iraq "at this time," and agrees with the White House's "reluctance to do the kind of military activities" requested by the Iraqi government.  "That is not a role for the United States," Clinton said in an interview with the BBC. "There needs to be a number of steps that [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al] Maliki and his government must take to demonstrate that he is committed to an inclusive Iraq, something he has not done up to date."  The former secretary of state and potential 2016 candidate voted to authorize the 2003 invasion of Iraq when she was a U.S. senator. Clinton has since said she was wrong and regrets the vote.

3. Bergdahl returns home.  U.S. Army Sgt. Bergdahl is back in the United States.  The former POW arrived at the San Antonio Military Medical Center Friday morning from Germany, where he had been recovering since his release late last month after nearly five years in Taliban captivity.  "The Army will continue to ensure that Sgt. Bergdahl receives the care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery and reintegration," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said. The swap of five Taliban prisoners who had been held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl caused a political firestorm, in addition to claims by members of Bergdahl's platoon that he deserted his post before being captured by the Taliban.

 

 

 

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