Hillary Clinton Won’t Send Ground Troops to Fight Islamic State

Hillary Clinton at Democratic debate (Jim Cole / Associated Press)
Jim Cole / Associated Press

Hillary Clinton said at the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire that the United States should not send group troops to fight the so-called Islamic State–despite the fact that a majority of Americans now support doing so.

Clinton said that the U.S. should continue the Obama administration’s policy of sending special operations forces, but not ground troops, “because that is exactly what ISIS wants. They’ve advertised that. They want American troops back in the Middle East. They want American soldiers on the ground fighting them.”

The idea that U.S. forces could actually win seems to be one that Clinton rules out entirely.

Notably, Clinton has adopted the Obama administration’s talking point that special operations forces are not “ground troops.”

Clinton also claimed that ISIS is circulating videos of Donald Trump as a recruiting tool for terrorism:

And we also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don’t fall on receptive ears. He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists. So I want to explain why this is not in America’s interest to react with this kind of fear and respond to this sort of bigotry.

It was not clear what videos Clinton meant.

After the Benghazi terror attack on Sept. 11, 2012, Clinton and the State Department led the effort to blame an anti-Islam YouTube video for the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The families of the victims have also claimed that Clinton told them personally, in front of flag-draped coffins at the memorial for the dead, that the video was to blame and the filmmaker would be punished.

Earlier this month, Clinton denied that she had told the families that a YouTube video was to blame. She also said that she had not lied to the American people when she received information that a terror group had been involved and then blamed a video, ascribing her misstatements to a “fast moving series of events in the fog of war.”

Curiously, Clinton uses the term “ISIS,” not the State Department’s preferred term, “Daesh,” or the White House’s preferred acronym for the Islamic State, ISIL, which substitutes the word “Syria” for “Levant.”


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