Obama: No Ground Troops to Fight ISIS' 'Face of Evil'
President says we'll keep calm and carry on with current airstrike strategy
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2015 11:03 AM CST
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference following the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, on Monday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Friday's terror attacks in Paris rocked the world, but President Obama appeared steadfast Monday in his overall strategy to go after the Islamic State. In a presser held after Turkey's G20 summit, Obama said that even though ISIS is "the face of evil" and that Paris' attacks were "a terrible and sickening setback," he has no plans to add ground troops, reports Bloomberg. Instead, he said, the US will double down on current tactics, including continued airstrikes and training local military in Iraq and Syria, notes USA Today. "There will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward, but the strategy that we put forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work," he said, per Reuters. "But … it is going to take time." He noted that holding off on ground troops "is not just my view, but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers, that [boots on the ground] would be a mistake."

Obama's reasons against deploying ground troops included the likelihood of more casualties and avoiding a situation similar to Iraq in 2003, with no clearly spelled-out exit plan, USA Today notes. "[It's] not because our military could not march into … Raqqa and temporarily clear out [ISIS], but because we would see a repetition of what we've seen before," Obama said, per CNBC. "If you do not have local populations that are committed to inclusive governance and who are pushing back against ideological extremes, then they resurface." Obama also noted that the US will still accept Syrian refugees, saying, "Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values." That puts him at odds with two governors, as well as Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush. (Anonymous plans to wage its own war against ISIS.)
 

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