Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Rep. Ed Royce | ISIS | boots on the ground | syria | airstrikes

Rep. Ed Royce: 'Blowback' in Congress for US Ground Troops in ISIS Campaign

By    |   Monday, 29 Sep 2014 09:58 AM

There will be "blowback" in Congress for the use of U.S. ground troops in the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS), Rep. Ed Royce told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I see a blowback. I see a problem [with U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Syria]," the California Republican said Monday. "To put large-scale U.S. contingents, to put the 82nd Airborne on the ground, I think that would be a profound error in judgment on the part of the United States."

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Instead, Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, explained "it would be far better if the boots on the ground were Kurdish boots and Arab boots," but said the effort to supply arms to the Kurds had been hindered by the administration of President Barack Obama.

"What we want to see is the armaments get into the hands of the Kurds, which has not happened yet, because of the insistence on the part of the administration is to move this through Baghdad," he said.

The problem with moving the arms through the Iraqi capital was that "Baghdad is not going to allow those anti-tank missiles or the artillery, long-range mortars that have been requested by the Kurds, to be given to them," he said.

"Why not get the weapons into their hands and allow them to defend themselves? After all, they are fighting ISIS right now on the front line. That seems to me to be the best policy," Royce said.

The 200 airstrikes the U.S.-led coalition has been conducting against ISIS in Iraq and Syria was "not robust," Royce said, adding that the targets hit were "usually a couple of pickup trucks."

"What we saw in the first Gulf War was, when the invasion of Kuwait, if you recall, when airstrikes attempted to push that back, it was 116,000 airstrikes, 42 divisions eviscerated. This is not that kind of an effort. This is pinprick," he said.

Turkey so far has failed to employ their military in the coalition against ISIS, and Royce didn't see direct involvement forthcoming.

"What we can expect of the Turks, at best, is that they close that border. That is something that's in their interest now and our interest. So, let's keep the pressure there," he said.

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There will be "blowback" in Congress for the use of U.S. ground troops in the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS), Rep. Ed Royce told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Rep. Ed Royce, ISIS, boots on the ground, syria, airstrikes
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2014-58-29
Monday, 29 Sep 2014 09:58 AM
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