Bill Kristol Calls For 50,000 Troops To Fight ISIS

The pundit is a noted war hawk and heavily advocated for the Iraq War.

11/15/2015 04:41 pm ET
  • Marina Fang Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

In the aftermath of the deadly attacks in Paris, believed to have been planned and executed by members of the Islamic State, interventionist politicians and pundits are again sounding the alarm for more American military action in the Middle East to fight the terrorist group.

On Sunday, conservative commentator Bill Kristol went as far as calling for 50,000 troops storming the Syrian city of Raqqa.

"If it takes 50,000 troops going in there and cleaning out Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State, do it," he said on ABC's "This Week."

Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard and a notorious cheerleader of the Iraq War, has long advocated for more U.S. efforts to stem the violence caused by ISIS. Last year, he wrote off any concerns about bombing the Middle East.

"What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens? I don’t think there’s much in the way of unanticipated side effects that are going to be bad there," he said.

 

However, U.S. airstrikes have had many negative consequences, including killing scores of innocent civilians.

In analyzing Saturday night's Democratic debate, which devoted a substantial amount of time to foreign policy, Kristol criticized the candidates for not proposing to put more American troops on the ground in Syria to fight the terrorist group, despite the fact that many Americans are tired of war and wary of sending more troops to the region. 

"Hillary Clinton said, in the Democratic debate last night, that ISIS cannot be contained, it must be destroyed," he said. "If ISIS is to be destroyed, America is going to and has to be in the lead. You can do a lot more from the air, but you are going to need troops on the ground."

Friday's attacks have forced lawmakers to re-evaluate the United States' approach to combating the growth of ISIS. In response, many Republicans have doubled down on criticisms of the Obama administration's foreign policy. While most of the party's presidential candidates have been forceful in calling for increased military action against ISIS, Kristol argued that a successful GOP candidate would have to present a clear proposal.

"At the end of the day, the candidate who articulates a credible strategy for destroying ISIS will be stronger, not weaker, on the Republican side," he said. "And if I were running -- advising a Republican campaign," he continued, "[I would] call in General -- former -- retired Generals Petraeus and Odierno and Mattis and soon to be retired General Kelly, and say, 'What is the real strategy?'" 

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