November 18, 2014

If ISIL Gets the Bomb, U.S. Troops Will Fight

Barack Obama played the nuclear option against his military advisers. Sending U.S. troops to Iraq is still not in Obama’s playbook and he publicly contradicts his military advisers who want to keep the strategy open. Well, there is one scenario where Obama would send troops: if ISIL got its hands on a nuclear bomb. “There are always circumstances in which the United States might need to deploy U.S. ground troops,” Obama said. “If we discover that ISIL had gotten possession of a nuclear weapon … then yes, you can anticipate that not only would Chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin] Dempsey recommend me sending U.S. ground troops to get that weapon out of their hands, but I would order it.” That red line doesn’t extend to chemical weapons, apparently, and Obama is content to lead a waffling, less-than superpower. As Mitt Romney said about sending U.S. troops to the region, “You don’t take that as a source of our strength from the battlefield.”

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