Obama On ISIS: "We Don’t Have A Strategy Yet"

The president said media might be “further ahead” than where the administration currently is on strikes in Syria.

President Obama said Thursday that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to combat ISIS militants and the possibility of strikes in Syria.

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet. I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are,” President Obama said in response to a question about consulting with Congress about military action.

The president added he would make sure there was a consultation with Congress when there was a clear strategy; the administration has reportedly been considering strikes on ISIS in Syria.

“And I think that’s not just my assessment but the assessment of our military as well,” Obama said. “We need to make sure we have clear plans, so that we are developing them. At that point, I will consult with Congress and make sure their voices are heard. But there’s no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done.”

Update: The White House has been aggressively pushing back on Obama’s “no strategy” comments. Emailing reporters and through Twitter:

POTUS today (cont):"...building on the progress that they’ve made so far & forming an inclusive govt that will unite their country..." 3/5

— Josh Earnest (@PressSec)

POTUS today (cont.): "Any successful strategy, though, also needs strong regional partners." 4/5

— Josh Earnest (@PressSec)

POTUS today (cont.): "I’ll be meeting with my National Security Council again this evening as we continue to develop that strategy." 5/5

— Josh Earnest (@PressSec)

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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