U.S. President Barack Obama declined proposals by political strategists to deploy U.S. troops in the Middle East to fight against Islamic State, despite the Paris terrorist attacks.
During the G20 summit of world leaders in Turkey, Barack Obama said on Monday that the attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead were a “terrible and sickening setback” and that he would be making further efforts to see the extremist ISIS fighters and leaders destroyed, but said that a shift in strategy with deploying U.S. troops “would be a mistake.”
According to Reuters, Obama said that everyone must acknowledge the difficulties that rose when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and how hard it was to control the Middle Eastern region at the time and that is why he is reluctant to send American boots on the ground in this conflict zone. He stated “We are going to continue the strategy that has the best chance of working” and added that he would intensify his effort against the Islamic State.
Republicans have jumped in criticism of the Obama administration saying that they are not making enough efforts to defeat the Islamic extremists. Most of the Republican Presidential hopefuls, right after the Paris attacks, said that the United States must joint France and other NATO forces with ground troops in Syria in Iraq in order to destroy ISIS.
According to Reuters, Jeb Bush called for U.S. troops to be put as advisers to Iraqi and Kurdish forces and asked for a no fly zone in Syria, something that Obama has said should not be considered because ISIS does not have an air force. Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for the 2016 Elections said that 10,000 U.S. troops should be deployed in the troubling region.
However, President Obama dismissed Republican claims and said that they are proposing strategies that have already been used by his administration, which have not produced any significant results. According to Reuters, he said “This is not a traditional military opponent. We can retake territory and as long as we keep our troops there we can hold it. But that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing these kinds of violent, extremist groups.”
He also said that the issue of Syrian refugees should be taken very seriously after the Paris attacks and remarked Republican calls for taking only Christian refugees as “shameful”.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that the majority of Americans are for intensifying American involvement in destroying Islamic State in Iraq and Syria along with its NATO allies, but most of them are against deploying more American soldiers in the Middle East.