President Barack Obama called top congressional leaders to the White House Wednesday afternoon to discuss how to respond to the collapsing security situation in Iraq.
Some options are already being ruled out. The president says U.S. combat troops won't be sent back to Iraq, and officials say there are no plans for airstrikes at this time because there aren't many clear targets.
House Speaker John Boehner is rejecting suggestions that the U.S. consider joining with Iran to help the Iraqi government battle insurgents.
Earlier Wednesday the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he is bitterly disappointed by the sectarian violence in Iraq, and blamed the country's leadership for failing to unite after the war.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey told a Senate panel on Wednesday that U.S. military men and women did exactly what was asked of them during the Iraq war. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the panel that the U.S. "can't dictate outcomes" and it's "up to the Iraqi people" to determine the course of their country.
Both men appeared before a hearing by the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee.