Sen. John McCain, a longtime advocate of more military action against the Islamic State (ISIS), said Monday that Americans may be frightened by the prospect of U.S. boots on the ground in Iraq or Syria, but it may be worse otherwise.
"It's going to scare them one heck of a lot more, or should, when the director of British intelligence gives us a speech that says there is a direct threat to the United States of America as well as the British," the Arizona Republican said on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."
More soldiers, he said, does not mean a massive number of troops.
McCain criticized President Barack Obama for saying in a Vox.com interview
that the media often "overstates" the threat of terrorism.
"For him to downplay this threat of ISIS to our security, I think is both delusional and incredibly unfair to the American people," McCain said.
ISIS, al-Qaida, and other Islamic terrorist groups are committed to destroying America, he said, and thousands of foreigners and some Americans who are fighting in Syria and Iraq will come home and pose a direct threat to the United States.
"Can we allow this slaughter and treatment to just go on forever?" he said.
McCain also addressed the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday held a joint press conference in the White House after a one-on-one meeting.
Merkel urged Obama not to arm the Ukrainians for fear it will spark a larger conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
McCain has long disagreed with that sentiment, saying the current plan of sending food and other nonlethal supplies are doing nothing to stop the Russian incursion.
"We have been giving them blankets and MREs. These don't do well against tanks," McCain said.
Even weapons might not enable the Ukrainians to win, McCain said, but could have an effect on Russia, where Putin denies any of his troops are even involved in Ukraine.
Russian sentiments might turn against Putin, McCain said, "when the body bags come home to Russian towns and families, in a war that Vladimir Putin says there are not any Russians in."
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