Johnson Slams Biden’s ‘Handwringing’ on Iran Retaliation

Johnson Slams Biden’s ‘Handwringing’ on Iran Retaliation

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., criticized the Biden administration’s weeklong buildup to the retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed proxies in the Middle East.

“The tragic deaths of three U.S. troops in Jordan, perpetrated by Iran-backed militias, demanded a clear and forceful response. Unfortunately, the administration waited for a week and telegraphed to the world, including to Iran, the nature of our response,” Johnson said in a statement.

“The public handwringing and excessive signaling undercuts our ability to put a decisive end to the barrage of attacks endured over the past few months,” he added.

U.S. Central Command posted the specifics of the strike on X, formerly Twitter: “U.S. military forces struck more than 85 targets, with numerous aircraft to include long-range bombers flown from United States. The airstrikes employed more than 125 precision munitions.”

Reaction to the strikes and their timing was met with a party line approval or disapproval

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Sen. Jack Reed  D-R.I., called the strikes “a strong, proportional response” to an attack that killed three Americans and wounded dozens more. “In fact, the 85 targets struck tonight mark a greater number than the prior administration,” he said, referring to the Trump administration, adding the strikes amounted to a “significant blow” to Iranian proxy forces in Iraq and Syria.

Sen. Roger Wicker R-Miss., reiterated Speaker Johnson’s sentiments in a statement on X that the administration “spent nearly a week foolishly telegraphing U.S. intentions to our adversaries, giving them time to relocate and hide.” 

Following the attacks, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued an official statement himself saying, “We do not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else, but the President and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces. We will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our forces, and our interests.”

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