WASHINGTON, D.C. — Regardless of what the generals advise and how bad the situation gets the U.S. should not send in combat troops, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters Wednesday.
“The worse it gets the less reason I think we should send troops,” she argued at her weekly briefing, after highlighting a quote from philosopher Hannah Arendt about violence begetting violence.
Tuesday, speaking before a Senate panel Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey raised the possibility that ground troops could be deployed to take on ISIS in Iraq.
“Whatever he intended and however they characterized it — and I’m sure in the military they always reserve the right to review a strategy on certain topics, all I can say to you and I’ve told this to my caucus and they have told it to me — we are not there to support combat troops in any of these engagements,” Pelosi said of Dempsey’s comments.
Pelosi stressed that the Democratic caucus, and President Obama are opposed to sending in troops.
“The sentiment of our caucus has been that we are not supporting combat troops in how we solve this problem,” she said.
The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on an authorization the Obama administration requested to arm and train the Syrian rebels to fight ISIS.
Pelosi, who supports the proposal, said she does not know how the vote, which is likely to require Democratic votes to pass, will turn out.
“I don’t know how the vote will turn out. It’s not a vote we whip,” she said.
“I do think as members weigh the factors that they will, I think, give points to the president for all he has done diplomatically, politically, humanitarian wise and ask for this discreet piece,” she continued. “It is not to be confused with any authorization to go further.”
According to Pelosi the President is taking the correct course by encouraging political change in Iraq and combat troops should remain entirely off the table.
“That is what we have to be doing is to use our leverage — and some of that may be training of troops in order to stop an organization like ISIS in it’s tracks,” she said. “I don’t think the American people are up for it, I don’t know if it would even achieve success to send troops in, but what ever it is I’m against it.”