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Australian PM Will Not Rule Out 'Boots on the Ground' against Islamic State

Australian PM Will Not Rule Out 'Boots on the Ground' against Islamic State

On September 3, Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbott refused to rule out “boots on the ground” when a reporter asked about Australia’s strategy against the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

Instead, Abbott said the “conflict” with IS is one that Australia may find unavoidable.

According to Reuters, Abbott said, “Many countries are talking to one another about what is the best way forward here but plainly [IS] is a threat not just to the people of the Middle East, but to the wider world.” He continued by saying, “This is a conflict which we understandably wish to avoid, but it is a conflict which sadly, is reaching out to us, as we have seen.”

Abbott’s willingness to leave open the option to put boots on the ground stands in stark contrast to President Obama’s continued rejection of the same. The Hill reports that “Obama has repeatedly said there would be no U.S. boots on the ground during the conflict.” 

Breitbart News reported Wednesday that Senate Committee on Armed Services member Mark Udall (D-CO) also opposes boots on the ground. 

Sen. Udall believes the U.S. should take a wait-and-see approach that involves appeals to “moderate Sunnis” and continued “targeted strikes”–but no boots on the ground. He does not consider IS “an immediate threat to the homeland.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.  Reach him directly at


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