House Speaker John Boehner said in an interview with ABC’s This Week on Sunday that, in his opinion, the U.S. will have “no choice” but to send ground troops to fight ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, in Syria and Iraq.
In the candid interview, the Ohio Republican said that he doesn’t believe President Barack Obama’s approach will accomplish his goals without the introduction of ground forces into the mix.
Boehner said to interviewer George Stephanopoulos, “If I were the president, I probably wouldn’t have talked about what I wouldn’t do. And maybe we can get enough of these forces trained to get ’em on the battlefield. But somebody’s boots have to be there.”
In speaking about ISIS directly, John Boehner was clear, “We have no choice. These are barbarians. They intend to kill us. And if we don’t destroy them first, we’re gonna pay the price.”
According to an NBC News poll, carried out in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal, Boehner is in the minority as only 34 percent of Americans are in favor of sending ground troops to fight ISIS.
In Boehner’s opinion, Obama’s suggested strategy of emboldening rebel forces who are already engaged in fierce fighting with ISIS is a bad one, especially as ISIS has been very successful in routing U.S.-trained Iraqi forces.
“Maybe we can get enough of these forces trained to get ’em on the battlefield. But somebody’s boots have to be there,” Boehner said.
John Boehner makes a good point though, as echoed by a separate NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from earlier this month, which found that more Americans say the United States is less safe now than at any point since 9/11 – some 47 percent, compared with 20 percent in 2002.
It remains to be seen whether or not John Boehner is correct in his prediction that ground troops will need to be sent to Syria and Iraq to deal with the ISIS threat. What is for sure is that that threat is far bigger than previously thought.