US senator pushes for ground troops to fight ISIL

Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham proposes giving the president greater powers to deploy troops abroad.

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    Senator Graham has proposed legislation authorising ground troop deployments to combat ISIL [AP]
    Senator Graham has proposed legislation authorising ground troop deployments to combat ISIL [AP]

    US presidential candidate Lindsey Graham has proposed new legislation granting the American president broader war powers to deploy ground forces to any conflict, any time.  

    The measure would allow President Barack Obama and future US presidents greater control over the deployment of troops that the senator says is needed to defeat groups such as ISIL "before they hit us here at home".

    The South Carolina senator is the only presidential candidate from the Republican Party who has based his candidacy on a foreign policy objectives focused on defeating ISIL and other associated groups in the Middle East.

    "We only have two choices regarding ISIL: fight them in their backyard or fight them in ours. I choose to fight them in their backyard," Graham said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera.

    Under Graham's proposal, the president would have the power to attack ISIL or any associated forces deemed an enemy of the US anywhere and anytime, with no expiration date.

    "ISIL cannot be destroyed with air power alone. It will require forces on the ground to destroy the Caliphate and liberate innocent civilians living under ISIL control," Graham said.

    Graham also wants the US to destroy ISIL's lines of communication and its online propaganda tools as part of efforts to stop the recruitment of fighters.

    The Obama administration has been launching air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant positions in Iraq and Syria under a law passed by Congress in 2001 in the wake of September 11 attacks. 

    Follow Ali Younes on Twitter: @ ali_reports

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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