Adam Kinzinger: Air Strikes Needed in Iraq

Sunday, 22 Jun 2014 01:09 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Air strikes are the solution to containing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its spread in Iraq, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger continues to believe.

Kinzinger, who served with the U.S. Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan and who is now a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said during a panel discussion on ABC'S "This Week" program Sunday that his stance hasn't changed since the crisis began months ago.

"I was at this table in January when ISIS took over Fallujah, and I said we need air strikes," Kinzinger said. "People looked at me funny."

And now, when he looks at the expanding and dangerous situation going on in Iraq, with ISIS forces taking over the country's major cities, he still believes air strikes are vital.

"Advisers and special opposition will stiffen the spine of the Iraqi military units," Kinzinger said, calling for "air strikes for ISIS units in the open, to button them down now" so a political solution can be devised. "I think ISIS targets in Syria should be targets, too."

His statements Sunday echoed those made last week, when he emphasized that any solution for Iraq cannot involve Iran, which "had a big hand in the destabilization of Iraq,"

"Now we are being told they are our best friend in the region?" he said of Iran. "Until we get the Iranians to put the nuclear issue on the table, we can't cooperate with them."

Kinzinger, meanwhile, said Sunday that he doesn't agree with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul's calls to avoid sending ground troops to Iraq and his holding out on supporting air strikes.

"I don't agree with Rand on a lot of his foreign policy positions," including his call for army budget cuts, said Kinzinger, who calls himself a "defense Republican."

He also said he doesn't agree that Rand is a front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2016.

"He represents an important part of our party," said Kinzinger. [But] one of the things that has made us strong and is our defining issue is that we understand that a strong United States of America stops things like a Russian incursion."

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