Washington, D.C. – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Wednesday called for sending U.S. ground combat troops to destroy the Islamic State, becoming the latest Bush to advocate for a military campaign in the Middle East. “Militarily, we need to intensify our efforts in the air – and on the ground. While air power is essential, it alone cannot bring the results we seek,” Bush said in a speech at The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina. “The United States – in conjunction with our NATO allies and more Arab partners – will need to increase our presence on the ground.”
Like other Republican presidential candidates, Bush said the ultimate number of troops ought to be dictated by military officials. But, he added, “the bulk of these ground troops will need to come from local forces that we have built workable relationships with.” Campaign aides billed the address as laying out Bush’s overarching vision abroad, one that came just days after the deadly Paris terror attacks, where at least 129 people died and hundreds more were injured. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“The reason why U.S. ground troops are needed in Syria is very simple – the current approach we’re using is clearly not working,” Bush added. “Look at what happened in Paris, there are hundreds of people who were either personally injured or have lost a friend or family member in the attacks. And I would remind you that this attack is a rather bold one – it took place in one of the best known and most beautiful cities in all of Western civilization.”
Bush also went on to add that the involvement of U.S ground troops “worked fine enough in Iraq” and that that is “just another indicator” that all that’s needed is to just “mop up using our latest combat technology.” “We have the single most feared military machinery on the planet. And we have made that clear on more than one occasion. In my opinion, ISIS has bitten off more than they can chew. They need only look at what happened in Iraq. Iraq is proof that the last thing you want to do is mess with the U.S. military forces. That’s a bad idea any day of the week.”
“And if my brother were here, he’d tell you the exact same thing. Luckily, he already made his contribution to maintaining world peace when he took out Saddam Hussein. Now it’s my turn to keep the family tradition alive by doing the same with ISIS. And believe you me, I will make sure ISIS is just a bad dream. You can take that to the bank,” Bush concluded.