Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, called for U.S. air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Sunni militant group that’s taking over major cities in Iraq and destabilizing the country.
“I don’t think the president has a choice now. I’ve been disappointed with his decisions a hundred times in the past. But when you have a group that makes Al-Qaeda look like a bunch of puppy dogs … I think our best for hope is the preservation of the Iraqi state, and that’s going to include some form of air strikes,” Kinzinger told reporters Wednesday. “It’s not going to be pretty, it’s not the panacea, but I think it gives breathing room for the Iraqi government to be able to counter-attack, to be able to buy some time.”
Kinzinger, who was first elected in 2010 and sits on the House Foreign Relations Committee, said air strikes are America’s “best bet” when it comes to fighting the violent insurgency, arguing that they’d help “button down and pin down ISIS in the cities that they move in.” He said if the U.S. waits for a political solution “we’re not going to have a state left.”
Does he want to send back U.S. ground troops?
“I know it’s politically impossible to introduce ground troops,” Kinzinger said. “But I do think there have to be special operations … that can work with the Iraqi military and can also pinpoint targets where they need to be pinpointed.”