In a nationally televised address on Thursday night, President Obama authorized the use of "targeted airstrikes" in Iraq and the dropping of meals and supplies to Iraqi civilians throughout the region.
President Obama said his authorization came about because of the continuous threatening of the Iraqi city of Erbil by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Obama said he had long waned ISIS not to threaten Erbil.
Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said while she supports the President's "commitment to protect Americans," she also believes those in Iraq and surrounding regions need to come together and recognize the threat ISIS presents to Iraq.
"I believe Iraq and the entire region must recognize the threat ISIS presents to them as it marauds across the landscape, creating chaos and terror," Congresswoman Porter said in a statement on Thursday night. "It is up to them to stand together and devise a plan to defeat ISIS, who is a threat to all in that region."
Senator Jeanne Shaheen agreed with Congresswoman Porter in her support for the President's desire to protect Americans and Iraqi civilians from the threat of ISIS in the region. However, Senator Shaheen said the next step in the process should be defining how this authorization of force in this particular authorization fits into the overall strategy of dealing with threats in Iraq.
"The Administration must describe how the steps outlined tonight fit into a larger strategy for dealing with the threat ISIS poses to all Iraqis, the region and the U.S." said Senator Shaheen in a statement on Thursday night.