September 12, 2014

McKeon Says Ground Troops Are Needed in Iraq

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, says Barack Obama’s ISIL strategy isn’t enough. “As much as I want the president’s approach to work,” McKeon said, “I believe the minimalist strategy he outlined [Wednesday] night will not get us there.” McKeon outlined why we’ll need boots on the ground: “ISIL is a Sunni movement. Getting the Sunnis to reject them is key. … Any U.S.-led coalition must engage with the Sunnis and make them understand that this is not a sectarian fight against them. And we have to get into those Sunni villages with Special Operations Forces to rebuild relationships. Because if the moderate Sunnis slip through our fingers, they’re gone – and with them, our chances for success. We have to reconnect the intelligence links and security forces’ capabilities that were lost when we left Iraq. … This will take troops. It will not take divisions. But there’s no way around it; American boots will be standing on sand. Americans will be shot at, and they will be shooting back. There’s simply no other way to do this. This strategy isn’t without risk. Neither is the president’s. It would be wrong to sell it that way to the American people. This is a dangerous business. It is dangerous any time we have our sons and daughters take to the skies, the seas, or the shores to defeat an enemy. The only thing more dangerous is waiting.” More…

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