Santorum wants US ground troops to fight Islamic State group

AP News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2015 4:01 PM
Santorum wants US ground troops to fight Islamic State group

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who is considering another presidential run, called for putting 10,000 U.S. troops on the ground to fight the growth of the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

Speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday afternoon, Santorum accused President Barack Obama of failing to understand the gravity of the threat.

Santorum called for a two-prong strategy that includes ground forces to provide advice, training and intelligence, as well as additional airstrikes.

"We need to hit ISIS, to defeat them. If ISIS wants to establish a 7th century caliphate, well let's oblige them by bombing them back to the 7th century," he said to applause.

The reaction from the libertarian-leaning crowd was less enthusiastic when he called for the arming of Kurds in Iraq and an increase in foreign aid to Jordan and Egypt to help with the fight.

Santorum followed Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who had argued that American taxpayer dollars should not be going to nations that challenge the United States.

Santorum won 11 states when he ran in the 2012 primary and said he'd stood apart from his rivals because of his focus on the working class.

"I won because I stood for someone — the little guy, the American worker," he said. "And if we're going to win in 2016, we need to stand for the little guy too."