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Tags: ISIS | Syrian rebels | Obama | ground | troops | Royce

Rep. Royce: In ISIS Vote, a 'No Ground Troops' Message

By    |   Friday, 19 September 2014 11:39 AM

Congress approved President Barack Obama's plan to train and equip the Free Syrian Army to fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) to send a message that it likely will never sign off on sending in U.S. ground troops, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce said Friday.

"I think that a lot of this is probably a statement by members that they're not going to give the president ... or any president, authorization to put U.S. combat troops into that theater of operation," Royce, a California Republican, said during a panel discussion on  MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"Congress would not send in the 82nd Airborne, and that's the point, and they're transmitting that message."

Story continues below video.



That message is an important one for the Arab world to see, Royce said, as
"this isn't our fight. It is their fight."

Meanwhile, "the bottom line is, we've seen this [Islamic State] organization double in size," Royce said.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, also on Friday's show, told Joe Scarborough that the bill was passed after only six hours of debate. There were lawmakers who voted against it because "they wanted to have a discussion on the whole strategy."

But still, Scarborough pointed out, there is a great deal of skepticism about Obama's plan, including from the military, lawmakers, and the intelligence community.

In Friday's edition of The Washington Post, several liberal lawmakers voiced their reasons for rejecting the bill, while other lawmakers say they want to discuss it in full detail when Congress returns to session in November and December.

"There are always questions in a situation like this because there are so many unknowns," Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, said.

Meanwhile, Florida Republican Rep. Tom Rooney and Maryland Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards both said they voted against the bill because they had too many issues with it.

"I thought it was a losing strategy," Rooney said. "I listened to the commander in chief. I wanted to support the commander in chief in a time of war. But as a former army captain and talking to a lot of the other vets that served, it was just something that we felt we needed to talk about more."

Edwards said she voted against the bill because she's not quite sure the Syrians will hold up their end of the bargain and fight ISIS.

"I have confidence that the president's strategy with respect to Iraq can work," she said. "Syria, not so much."

Rooney said that in December, when Congress comes back into session, Syria will be discussed, but as for now, he is not any nearer being comfortable with the rebels than he was a year ago.

"It sounds like fantasy to me," he said. "It's a terrible choice between [Syrian leader Bashar] Assad and ISIS. Why don't we tell the American people the truth, [that] there's not a neat, clean way in Syria right now?"


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Newsfront
Congress approved President Obama's plan to train and equip the Free Syrian Army to fight against the Islamic State to send the message that it likely will never sign off on sending in U.S. troops, said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce.
ISIS, Syrian rebels, Obama, ground, troops, Royce
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2014-39-19
Friday, 19 September 2014 11:39 AM
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