Arizona Sen. John McCain has warned that the United States mission to eradicate the Islamic State will fail unless the Obama administration sends more specialized forces to fight the terror group.
"I wish the president would stop saying we're not going to have combat troops on the ground,'' McCain told USA Today
. “In support roles, in special forces roles, intelligence, and particularly in target acquisition, we can have people there.''
The Republican senator said that air strikes alone will not prevent the danger to the U.S. posed by the Sunni extremists, also known as ISIS. McCain called for more troops on the ground specifically to help with the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria.
But he added, “I don't think it's necessary to have large combat units, because I don't think we have to, number one, and the more we do send in, the higher likelihood of casualties.''
McCain also urged President Barack Obama to approve the use of air power to strike the troops of Syrian President Bashar Assad. And he attacked Obama for claiming that the rapid rise of ISIS had been “underestimated” by U.S. intelligence.
Calling it a “dog ate my homework” excuse, he said, "Those of us who knew the area well knew the situation was going to deteriorate. I don't have access to intelligence. It was my eyes. Now, did the Iraqi army deteriorate faster than maybe I thought? Perhaps. But the result has been the same.''
McCain said that Obama should go to Congress for a vote on approving more troops in a support role for the air strikes and as advisers to the Iraqi military.
“If you said we're going to send the 82nd Airborne and you're going to see Iraq and Afghanistan all over again, then, no,'' McCain said.
"But If you said, we're going to send in support troops that can give vital information so that we can successfully carry out an air campaign — not put Americans into combat — then I think a lot of Americans would say, gee, if that's what it takes to beat these people that I just watched behead (American journalists), the most grisly hideous thing that most Americans have ever seen, then I think you could convince them.''
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