Tags: Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | War on Terrorism | ISIS

GOP Senators: Use Special Forces in Military Action Against ISIS

By    |   Monday, 08 Sep 2014 07:32 PM

Calls are growing louder for stronger military action against the Islamic State (ISIS),
with two Republican foreign policy hawks in the Senate on Monday urging an air and ground campaign that would include Special Operations forces.

"Air power alone won't be enough," Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson told The Washington Post. "We need to put together a wide-ranging coalition and have our Special Forces support it."

"Special Forces are how we took out Osama bin Laden," Isakson added. "I would not be reluctant to use them."

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham also added his voice to the call for stronger action against the Islamic State.

"It's not possible to be successful on the ground without strong American hand-holding," Graham told The Post. "What you'd want to do is interject Special Forces into kill-the-leader type operations."

The groundswell comes as the White House plans briefings to Congress.

National security officials are expected to brief senators Wednesday and members of the House on Thursday, The Post reports, citing unnamed congressional aides.

Also, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey are set to brief the Senate Armed Services Committee next Tuesday, the newspaper reports.

Additionally, the House Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees have scheduled hearings for next week to review the threat from the Islamic State, and similar Senate hearings are expected, The Post reports.

Several Republicans in Congress complained last week they were being left out of a briefing triggered by the beheading of two American journalists.

Obama, meanwhile, announced his planned speech to the nation Wednesday during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, though he said there would not be any announcement of action that would include added ground troops.

Isakson and Graham urged quick action.

"We need to find as many partners as possible," Isakson told The Post. "But there is no question in my mind that the ISIS threat is very real and the longer they are left to build, the worse it'll be. We should go after the cells and the leadership — not with an invasion, but with surgical strikes that take them out."

Graham said a "heavy maneuver element" was likely unnecessary but that Special Forces are almost certain to be needed due to the "lack of a military capacity" of other countries.
"That's how you cut off the head of the snake," Graham said.

The Post reported Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday also called for a strong response to the Islamic State, though he didn't mention using ground troops.

"I don't believe the American people are one bit reluctant to defend our national security, to defend the lives of fellow Americans," Cruz said in a speech in the Senate, adding later: "We should concentrate on a coordinated and overwhelming air campaign that has the clear military objective of destroying the capability of ISIS to carry out terror attacks on the United States."


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Calls are growing louder for stronger military action against the Islamic State (ISIS), with two Republican foreign policy hawks in the Senate on Monday urging an air and ground campaign that would include Special Operations forces.
ISIS, Special Forces, military, action, Isakson, Graham
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2014-32-08
Monday, 08 Sep 2014 07:32 PM
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