Over the weekend both Congressman Eliot Engel (D-New York) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said they believe sending troops to Iraq may be necessary to protect US national security interests. Engel made his statement on Fox News Sunday and Kinzinger made his on ABC’s This Week.
Congressman Kinzinger, a veteran of the Iraq War, said he did not want 200,000 troops but claimed special forces would be needed to achieve the Obama Administration’s mission and more broadly protect US national security which he claimed ISIS somehow posed a risk to. The view that ISIS was a threat to US national security went unchallenged at ABC News.
Congressman Engel, who is the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, not only raised the issue of putting troops into Iraq but having the US get involved in the Syrian Civil War.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that the U.S. might need “some boots on the ground” to fight the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), adding that the U.S. should consider air strikes in Syria. “Ultimately, we may have some boots on the ground there,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”…
Engel has consistently been more hawkish than President Obama, and called for U.S. air strikes in Syria last summer after the chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government. He again raised that possibility on Sunday, saying the Syrian opposition had asked for strikes outside the city of Aleppo. “I think we should consider doing it because this is one war,” he said.
Well, that escalated quickly. And yes Engel is very much a hawk having voted in 2002 for the Iraq War resolution. Now this ranking Democrat wants another invasion.
Despite the bipartisan calls for the invasion of Iraq, it remains to be seen if President Obama is interested in reversing his explicitly state position of not sending in troops. Of course, he has already sent in hundreds of “advisors” and been expanding his air strikes so maybe he is searching for a way to put boots on the ground but call it something else.
And hey, why not get in on Syria while you’re at it? In for a penny, in for a pound.