Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson argued the US should train Syrians in Saudi Arabia and Jordan to fight ISIS, but that he would send US boots to fight ISIS “if necessary” on Wednesday’s “On the Record” on the Fox News Channel.
Carson said, “we need to declare war on the Islamic State. This is a serious issue. And that way the people who aid and abet them will be traitors. I think people will think twice about it at that point. I think we also need to establish a leadership position with the coalition that we’re calling for, not leading from behind, but leading from the front, in every way. Because I think many of the Islamic states down there are a little bit concerned about whether we will stick with them when things get hairy.”
He was then asked if that would include boots on the ground. Carson responded, “It would include boots on the ground if necessary. But the way you determine whether boots on the ground are necessary is by defining your goals, and then talking to your military experts and asking them what do they need in order to accomplish that goal. That’s the logical way to do it. And also, there are a lot of available boots to us. Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of young Syrian men in Saudi Arabia, and throughout the whole region, we need to get them involved, get them recruited, get them trained. In the Jordanian refugee camps there are Syrian men. All of those have to be done, but in addition to that recognize that they gain their legitimacy by having a caliphate. We need to take that from them, as I’ve been saying for more than a year, they’re the richest terrorist organization there is. Why? Because of oil revenues. Do not allow that to happen. Shut down their monetary mechanisms, and we have to have a global strategy. You know, they’re just going to shift from one place to another. Believe me, they’re going to shift over to Libya now, because we’re concentrating on Iraq.”
Carson added that he’s not reluctant to put boots on the ground. He then continued, “We took Sinjar away from them, just a month ago, utilizing Kurds and our special ops people. Now, recognize our special ops people are boots on the ground. Some people are reluctant to call them that, but that’s what they are. And it worked very effectively with our air support coming behind them. And you know, Fallujah recently — but, you know it’s — Ramadi, rather, recently, and you look at all the possibilities, Raqqa, Mosul by using those same techniques. But if, in fact, we do need to use our troops in larger numbers, I would use them, because what you have to recognize is that if we don’t recognize the seriousness of this situation, they’re just going to continue to grow, multiply, become much more powerful, and eventually we will be fighting them over here. So their boots will be on our ground.”
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