Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | Boots on the ground | ISIS | Sen. David Vitter | airstrikes

Sen. David Vitter: War to Defeat ISIS Will Require Boots on Ground

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 01:00 PM

Republican Louisiana Sen. David Vitter supports President Barack Obama's decision to order airstrikes in Syria but tells Newsmax TV on Tuesday that he remains "very concerned that overall he doesn't have a complete or coherent strategy."

During an appearance on "America's Forum," Vitter stated his belief that both constitutionally and for buy-in by the nation and Congress, the president needs to seek a new authorization of force resolution. But he's not holding his breath.

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"Unfortunately, there's no suggestion of that in sight and the Obama administration clearly isn't asking for that, at least right now," he said.

Further, he added, President Obama needs to "face up" to the fact that boots on the ground are going to be necessary to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and other like-minded terror groups in the Middle East.

"Every military expert says that," said Vitter. "You can't accomplish even those limited goals with just airstrikes. None of us want those boots on the ground to be American or even primarily American or many Americans, but it seems like it's going to take that. The sooner we face up to that and come up with a coherent strategy, the better."

The participation of Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates in the airstrikes is the "most positive development" thus far, according to Vitter, who added that a pan Arab coalition must continue.

"That is a very significant and positive development," he said. "If we're going to be successful, we need to build a coalition and needs to be led by Arab states. I hope this isn't a collation in name only."

He also hopes NATO countries will join forces to form a broad coalition that will "come together and build."

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Vitter said he was disturbed that the first he learned of the Khorasan group was in news accounts with the rest of the country.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the Syrian-based terror organization has emerged in the past year and "may be the most intent on hitting the United States or its installations overseas with a terror attack."

Vetter plans to ask for a detailed, classified briefing on the matter, though he questions whether Khorasan is really as much of an "imminent threat" to the United States as the Obama administration would lead the nation to believe. He said the administration has a tendency to cry wolf, "particularly right before an election."

Switching subjects to Obamacare, Vitter said there are at least 310,000 people "with unresolved immigration issues" receiving both Obamacare and subsidies, representing yet another "broken promise" by Obama.

"One of the clear, explicit promises during the Obamacare debate was that these benefits would never go to illegals in any way," Vitter said.

Should Obama grant amnesty via executive action around Christmas — which is the current expectation — Vitter said he and his colleagues will respond with a heavy hand.

"Any action like that would be very, very serious because it is beyond the president's constitutional and legal authority," he explained. "If we win the Senate in the meantime and we have a Republican House and a Republican Senate, that would give us a lot more leverage, a lot more opportunity and we could pass significant measures and block funding with regard to that action."

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Republican Louisiana Sen. David Vitter supports President Barack Obama's decision to order airstrikes in Syria but tells Newsmax TV on Tuesday that he remains "very concerned that overall he doesn't have a complete or coherent strategy."
Boots on the ground, ISIS, Sen. David Vitter, airstrikes, Arab coalition
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2014-00-23
Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 01:00 PM
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