Thursday, October 30, 2014

GOP politicians split on US military action

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 8/25/2014

With the possibility of the U.S. facing another war in Iraq with another militant group, Americans are split on the action that should be taken.

Alluding to the current conflict between Iraq and Islamic State militants, often referred to as ISIS or ISIL, and the recent U.S. involvement, Richard Nienstedt, city manager, asked U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, during his visit to Ottawa a simple question: “Are we in the Middle East or are we not?”

With the possibility of the U.S. facing another war in Iraq with another militant group, Americans are split on the action that should be taken.

Alluding to the current conflict between Iraq and Islamic State militants, often referred to as ISIS or ISIL, and the recent U.S. involvement, Richard Nienstedt, city manager, asked U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, during his visit to Ottawa a simple question: “Are we in the Middle East or are we not?”

“Your question suggests to me that’s the problem,” Moran said.

From his experience by witnessing the U.S. at war in Vietnam, Moran said the U.S. should not engage in military endeavors unless there is a plan for victory and the leaders and American people support it.

“It seems to me that we are in a position now in Iraq, or all of the Middle East, that we aren’t in or out, and that’s the worst of either world,” Moran said. “We don’t have the commitment to pursue and achieve success and yet we are unwilling to admit we can’t accomplish that.”

Vietnam taught Moran to be very reluctant to utilize force and put American soldiers in the line of duty unless U.S. interests are at serious risk, he said.

“We are not the policemen of the world,” Moran said. “But we ought to find ways to have military that has sufficient capabilities. We have to have leadership that is so well respected that the threat of military action causes different behavior around the world. I don’t think we’re in either of those positions.”

Reflecting the thoughts of Moran, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts said a week previously to an Ottawa crowd that the conflict in Iraq that he does not support a full-military operation, but he is worried by the events so far.

“I’m not advocating boots on the ground, or getting back into another 12-year effort where victory is hard to define. ... But this is a serious situation and I think it is eroding and I’m concerned about it,” Roberts said Aug. 15 at the Ottawa City Hall.

Some have taken stronger stances against the militant group, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

Speaking at a conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, Perry said the U.S. should increase attacks on the militant group and send more special operation forces to the Middle East, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Perry did not rule out sending ground troops, saying no option can be ruled out, according to the report.

“They need to be eliminated. They need to be eliminated now,” Perry said to the group, according to the report.

The U.S. has so far allowed airstrikes on the militants in North Iraq, and had also unsuccessfully attempted to rescue American hostages in Syria from the militant group, according to the Washington Post. The rescue mission failed because the hostages were moved recently before the operation, according to the report. James Foley, the American journalist who was publicly executed by the militants as a response to the airstrikes, was of the hostages targeted in the rescue mission.

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