Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said if the United States is going to defeat the Islamic State, combat troops will be necessary.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) speaks at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. Prospective Republican presidential candidates are promoting religious liberty at home and abroad at a gathering of evangelical conservatives. (Image source: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Bachmann told TheBlaze that Obama is engaging in a “Vietnam failed strategy” by launching only airstrikes in Iraq and Syria to combat the Sunni militant group.
Asked if this meant sending in ground troops, she said, “Of course it does.”
“Why be afraid of that?” Bachmann added after speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. “What we need to recognize is that this is an evil enemy that has declared war on the United States and they declared they will take war to our shores within the homeland. What we need to do is defeat the enemy. Like George Bush said, we defeat them there so that we don't have to fight them here.”
Obama has persistently said there would be no “boots on the ground,” yet his military commanders have been sending mixed messages.
Asked how soon a ground campaign should happen, Bachmann said it would be up to the military.
“The military has to weigh in on that,” the Republican said, adding that either way the present strategy cannot work.
“This is a paramount effort where the president wants to find so-called vetted moderates," Bachmann said, noting there aren't any.
In fact, referencing British intelligence, she said "half of those we already trained are sympathetic and are part of Islamic jihad. They get three and a half weeks of training. How is that going to stand up to the Islamic State with senior-level Al Qaeda experience?"
She said she would prefer that America fight with a World War II strategy rather than a Vietnam-style strategy.
“They are veterans of decades of fighting,” Bachmann added. “People who have three and a half weeks of training aren't going to be able to stand up to this, and that's why I say this is a slow-walk, Vietnam, failed strategy. We need to engage in a strategy that is going to defeat Islamic jihad decisively. We are the best military in the world. We can do it. We've got to step up to the task and we've got to get it done.”
This story has been updated with video.