White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama believes he has the necessary authority to launch military action against IS. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama believes he has all the authority he needs to implement his current military strategy to confront Islamic State. U.S. warplanes carried out five strikes on Islamic State insurgents menacing Iraq's Haditha Dam on Sunday, witnesses and officials said, widening what President Barack Obama called a campaign to curb and ultimately defeat the jihadist movement. Obama has branded Islamic State an acute threat to the West as well as the Middle East and said that key NATO allies stood ready to back Washington in action against the well-armed sectarian force, which has seized expanses of northern Iraq and eastern Syria and declared a border-blurring religious caliphate. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, "The President does believe that he has all the authority necessary as the Commander and Chief of the United States to order the kind of military action that is necessary to to protect American citizens. " But if Obama decided to expand the scope of military operations in Iraq and Syria, he would make a determination at that point on whether he would need additional congressional authorization, Earnest said.