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POLITICS: PennAve

Warner: Obama's 'no strategy' remark was 'a very unfortunate choice of words'

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Politics,Barack Obama,National Security,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Foreign Policy,Mark Warner,ISIS

ASHBURN, Va. — Sen. Mark Warner said Sunday that "the president used a very unfortunate choice of words" when President Obama said earlier this week that the U.S. has "no strategy" to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Warner, a Democrat who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee and is running for re-election this year, made the remarks during a town hall meeting at Ashby Ponds, a retirement community.

"ISIS is an extreme threat," Warner said in response to a question about Obama's remark. "I think we need to leave all options on the table.

"We have to do what we can to stop them, but also we have to rally the rest of the world, and the Iraqi people have to show some willingness to stand up and fight for themselves as well," Warner added. "This cannot exclusively be an American obligation."

Indeed, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will next week meet with European allies at the NATO summit to try to cobble together a coalition. Warner said Sunday that those European countries should be eager to help the U.S. respond not only to ISIS, but also to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has ordered a further invasion of Ukraine.

"It has been extraordinarily disappointing to me to see lack of resolve from the Europeans, who are, frankly, most at risk," Warner said.

"This is really this generation’s moment," Warner added. "But we need everyone’s shoulders to the barricades."

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