Politics & Policy

Bush Calls for U.S. Ground Troops to Combat ISIS

(Scott Olson/Getty)

Charleston, S.C. — Jeb Bush Wednesday called for the immediate formation of a U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIS with ground troops in the Middle East, a muscular proposal that goes beyond his past prescriptions for more airstrikes.

“While air power is essential, it alone cannot bring the results we seek,” Bush said in a speech to The Citadel military college here. “The United States — in conjunction with our NATO allies and more Arab partners — will need to increase our presence on the ground.”

Bush’s campaign had framed Wednesday’s speech as a major address on his plans to rebuild the military. But last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris shifted his focus, Bush advisers say, and prompted him to use the speech to prescribe a more hawkish foreign-policy plan than any of his major rivals for the GOP nomination.

“Since the attacks in Paris, the demand for action to stamp out ISIS has rightly grown,” Bush said. “The United States should not delay in leading a global coalition to take out ISIS with overwhelming force. As the words of French President Hollande have made clear, the United States will not be alone in galvanizing this global effort.”

#share#Indeed, Bush emphasized that while American boots on the ground are necessary to defeat ISIS, the heavy lifting will be done by Arab fighters under the guidance of a U.S.-led global coalition.

Bush acknowledged that if his proposal becomes reality, hundreds of cadets in the room Wednesday will be at the tip of the spear.

“Let there be no doubt, this will not be easy,” Bush said. “Some of you in this room will serve on the front lines of that fight against ISIS and against radical Islamic terrorism. You will sign up for an uncertain fate, on foreign fields of battle, because your country, and the cause of freedom, are calling you.”

— Tim Alberta is chief political correspondent for National Review.

Most Popular

White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More
Elections

The 24 Democrats

Every presidential primary ends with one winner and a lot of losers. Some might argue that one or two once-little-known candidates who overperform low expectations get to enjoy a form of moral victory. (Ben Carson and Rick Perry might be happy how the 2016 cycle ended, with both taking roles in Trump’s cabinet. ... Read More