Jimmy Carter says if the United States wants to defeat ISIS in Iraq but avoid killing civilians, it’s going to take some boots on the ground.
Speaking at a community college in western Michigan, the former U.S. president said it’s necessary to have some targeted forces on the ground to make sure that air strikes don’t hit non-combatants.
“When ISIS forces go into a city and take it over, and then the United States goes over there with bombers and drops bombs, we are very likely to kill more civilians than ISIS members,” Carter said in a video broadcast by WOOD-TV. “That’s why it’s very necessary for us to have our own people on the ground that can give us accurate information about exactly where to let a missile land or a bomb land to make sure that it kills the ISIS terrorists instead of normal civilians.”
Jimmy Carter has gained a reputation as a peace activist, even winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, but has stood behind the United States in its campaign to attack ISIS with targeted airstrikes.
But Carter has joined President Barack Obama in opposing sending ground troops in to fight ISIS directly, saying it would not be effective.
“Is the bombing of ISIS justified? I say yes,” he said earlier this month. “And I hope that President Obama has every possible success in getting allies to join with us, some with ground troops that are effective inside Syria.”
Jimmy Carter has made headlines for another reason this week. At the same appearance where he endorsed airstrikes against ISIS, Carter said he doesn’t believe Jesus Christ would have stood for the discrimination homosexuals still face in the United States.
“I never knew of any word or action of Jesus Christ that discriminated against anyone,” Jimmy Carter said, according to a video from MLive.