As U.S. led coalition forces continue air strikes targeting Islamic State Group positions, some wonder if troops will eventually be needed on the ground to finish the job against the radical forces.
Congressman Steve King, a Republican, isn’t advocating for troops, but he also doesn’t think the Iraqi Army is capable of eliminating the threat of ISIS. “The army fell apart and they ran away from the weapons that we gave them and the equipment that we gave them. And I don’t have faith that they can be put back together — not without a lot of Americans to stand shoulder to shoulder with them,” King says.
He says he’s not advocating sending in thousands of troops but says we know that if we send in equipment the Kurds will fight. King says the Kurdish people want their own state as opposed to a unified Iraq. “I am happy accepting a Kurdistan that would defend itself in that region. I think that would be a good thing for the United States, they would be an ally of ours. They’d be a counterbalance in that part of the world and they not let ISIS invade any further into the Kurdish region,” King says. “But they would not go to Damascus and they would not go to Baghdad, and I don’t think they should.”
King says it will likely take more than arming the Kurdish people to bring an end to ISIS though. He says air strikes are helping to slow down ISIS, but they aren’t enough either. “I don’t think its enough, it’s surely not shock and awe and it’s not rolling thunder, it’s pin pricks — strategic ones, though they seem to be strategic. So, it’s a start and they send a message,” King says. “If it can slow down the funding that’s coming into the ISIS war machine, that will be helpful.”
King says the military intervention is buying time and he hopes to see a better plan by America and its allies to defeat the insurgents.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)