Reports that the Islamic State (ISIS) may have burned alive 45 people in al-Baghdadi, just five miles from where U.S. Marines are helping train Iraqi soldiers, should buffet the Obama administration to send ground troops to deal with the violent jihadists, New York Rep. Peter King said Wednesday on Newsmax TV's
"Our Marines can take care of themselves, but this is a risky situation," he said. "We're literally playing with fire to put Marines in that position. We don't know, for instance, how many Iraqi forces are in that airbase that we can fully trust.
"All we have to do is allow a few of those ISIS terrorists into the base or provide them with an opening and it puts those Marines at risk. This is where we have limitations on what we can do."
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Ground forces could be indispensable
, King added, in "getting them before they come get us."
"I don't like the idea of us playing defense. I'd much prefer air raids, air attacks and be able to send out Special Forces and combat troops to lure them out, rather than let them wait and plan attacks against us."
Expanding the American social media campaign to combat ISIS propaganda is a good move, King said, but it's no substitute for military action.
"We were able to rebuild Japan, give them a constitution and turn them into a democracy, but before we did that, we dropped the atomic bomb on them and defeated them in battle after battle," he said. "We go through the same thing in South Korea. We had to beat back the North Koreans and we had our troops in there 50 years later.
"The military's an absolute component necessary before we go into any type of social activity or rebuilding. That's icing on the cake. First, we have to stop them from killing people."
Intelligence is the most important element to keeping jihadists off U.S. soil, according to King.
"We have to identify the enemy," he said. "Once they get weaponry and arrive, they're probably going to make it, whether it's the subway or an airline. We need to get the intelligence upfront, monitor, surveil, and we can't be politically correct.
"We know where the threat is coming from — it's coming from within the Muslim community and that's where the surveillance has to be. We have to do what's right. There is no constitutional right being violated here. Intelligence is the only answer, that and working with our allies overseas when they come here."
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