Sen. McConnell: "More of the same is not going to work" against ISIS

11/16/2015 03:32 PM

LOUISVILLE – The United States military tactics against ISIS will continue, President Obama announced on Monday defending his strategy, and rejecting calls for an increased military presence in Syria and the Middle East.

Days after members of ISIS killed more than 100 people in Paris, France and injured hundreds others Obama spoke from Antalya, Turkey at the conclusion of the G20 summit to condemn the attacks and stress solidarity with France.

Obama said he would increase coordinated airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but said he would not be sending additional ground troops to the region.

“We have the finest military in the world and we have the finest military minds in the world, and I’ve been meeting with them intensively for years now discussing these various options. It is not just my view, but the view of my closest military and civilian advisors that that would be a mistake,” Obama said.

Obama said that American forces could clear ISIS out of their strongholds across the Middle East if sent, but he said “a repetition” would occur unless there was a permanent occupying force.

As a strategy, Obama openly pondered what would happen if there were other terrorist attacks in other parts of the world that also required military intervention.

At the same time Obama spoke in Turkey, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, was at the University of Louisville for his distinguished speaker’s series with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina.

McConnell called the Paris attack which killed 132 people, an opportunity for the French people to “decide whether they want to join with us in some more aggressive effort to defeat ISIS.”

“I think we all know that it’s not going to be done from the air. It can only be done from the ground,” McConnell told reporters in Louisville. “If we get to that point it’s not going to be the United States alone.”

Kentucky’s senior Senator said it will be interesting to see if the attack prompts a “NATO type coalition to destroy ISIS.”

Over the weekend French war planes launched what they’re calling a major bombardment against ISIS in Raqqa, Syria — the capital of ISIS.

On Monday, McConnell said ISIS will not go away with “pinprick airstrikes,” and he posed the question of who would fight the Islamic State on the ground.

“I think it can only be done with a collective effort probably led by NATO, backed up by our Sunni Arab allies,” McConnell said. “Yeah, there’s no strategy…the president says more of the same, more of the same is not going to work.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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