Ohio leaders support US action on militants


CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohio’s Republican U.S. senator said Thursday that President Barack Obama’s plan for
stepped-up action against Islamic State militants in the heart of the Middle East is overdue, and he
wants to see the follow-through for an aggressive, long-term effort.

Rob Portman, who represents the Cincinnati area, said he considers the militants a clear threat to the
United States, and in some ways more dangerous as a military threat than other terrorist groups because
they are functioning more like an army. He said Americans can’t afford to be "naive about it."

He called Obama’s speech Wednesday night "a step in the right direction. … I think he is now
acknowledging the importance of addressing this issue and not simply wishing it away."

Portman said in a conference call with reporters that he supports more aggressive U.S. air strikes in the
region and thinks even more needs to be done to support local ground forces such as the Free Syrian
Army. He also said there should be debate of the issue within Congress and among the nation, similar to
the national discussion on fighting terrorism in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that occurred 13
years ago Thursday.

"We must be resolute," said Portman, who is considered a potential 2016 GOP presidential
candidate. "This will be a long and difficult fight, as President George W. Bush said

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, said in a statement he looked forward to hearing more details after
the president "outlined the importance of developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy that
addresses the threat posed by ISIS."

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from West Chester, said Obama made a compelling case for action.

"An effective speech is not the same thing as an effective strategy, however," Boehner said in
a statement. "…Many questions remain about how the president intends to act."


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