President Obama is scheduled to deliver a statement on Iraq from the White House at 12:30 PM ET. A live video feed is at the top of this post, and we will provide updates throughout.
President Barack Obama is also expected to announce Thursday that he is deploying about 100 Green Berets to Iraq to help train and advise Iraqi forces, according to a U.S. official. However, Obama does not plan to announce immediate U.S. airstrikes on Iraq, which have increasingly become less of a focus of deliberations in recent days.
9:42 AM PT: The White House feed now indicates the president won't make his remarks until 1:15 PM ET.
9:51 AM PT: In the meantime:
10:31 AM PT: The president is now about an hour delayed. Let's hope that hour has been (and is continuing to be) used with wisdom, because the last thing we need is to get back involved in war in Iraq.
10:33 AM PT: Here's the president. "Today, I want to provide you with an update" on the situation on Iraq. Begins with talking about protecting the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
10:34 AM PT: Second, President Obama says we've also beefed up intelligence collection and monitoring. Third, he says the U.S. is working to help Iraq's military, including advisors, "up to 300" additional military advisors, and joint operation centers, but U.S. troops "will not be returning" to Iraq.
10:36 AM PT: Fourth, says the president, the U.S. has positioned military assets in the region and is prepared to launch strikes against ISIL if he believes, in consultation with Congress, such strikes are needed. Finally, says the president, the U.S. will push for a diplomatic solution.
10:37 AM PT: Obama, in calling for an "inclusive political process" in Iraq, says the U.S. will not launch strikes against one particular sect to benefit another.
10:41 AM PT: First question is from Wall Street Journal about whether President Obama has confidence in Maliki. Obama says it's not our place to choose Iraq's leader, but says there's no secret that there are deep divisions and as long as they "continue to worsen" that we won't support a leader that can't bring the country's factions together.
10:43 AM PT: Jim Acosta asks about the military advisors President Obama is willing to send and whether he's worried about mission creep. Obama says mission creep is always a concern, but flatly rules out sending combat troops. He says we have in interest in preventing a civil war both for humanitarian reasons and also to avoid destabilizing the region because of oil markets. He also says we don't want Iraq to become a base of operations for groups that want to attack U.S. and our allies, at home and overseas.
10:46 AM PT: On the question of whether he wishes the U.S. had left residual forces in Iraq, he says that was a decision made by the Iraqi government.
10:53 AM PT: President Obama is continuing to take more questions. And the press continues to ask variations on the same question: Can we trust al-Maliki, and do you regret ending the war in Iraq/are you worried about restarting it, and what about the Middle East as a whole.
11:02 AM PT: After saying that Iran could play a constructive role, the president has now finished his remarks. In short, his case: U.S. has interests in Iraq, can't solve the country's problems through force or any other means, but is willing to offer military support to Iraqis who can convince the U.S. that they can solve the country's problems. In the short-term, his primary focus is protecting U.S. assets in Iraq, and he pledges no boots on the ground. He didn't specifically say 100 Green Berets were headed to the country, but did say up to 300 personnel would be made available as "advisors." Obviously, if those personnel are sent, the question will be whether there's a distinction without a difference between them and "combat troops."