Rep. Cole warns against rush to action on ISIS

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) tried to dampen the urgency of taking additional military against against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Sunday, saying President Obama should work with Congress on the next steps.

“Frankly, there’s way too much emphasis on acting now and doing something immediately instead of being smart about what we do,” Cole said, reacting to calls for action after Obama said he did not have a strategy for fighting ISIS.

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“The elements of strategy are already there. We know we’re going to use air power, we know we’re going to use special operators, we know we’re going to have to build alliances on the ground,” he said.

The United States has already undertaken air strikes in Iraq against ISIS. Syria would be tougher, since the United States does not have existing military alliances there.

“In the end of the day, there’s a consensus that we are going to do things,” he said.

Cole criticized Obama and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for agreeing to pull United States troops out of Iraq, which he said makes it harder to fight ISIS there.

Cole also urged Obama to work with Congress on ISIS strategy, which he said would help ensure that lawmakers are accountable for the strategy and that their constituents feel that they have a stake in it.

“The important thing for the president here is to move with Congress. That is, to not do this on his own, to make everybody put their fingerprints on the decision and say yay or nay, go home and justify it,” he said.