House Armed Services Chief Rep. Buck McKeon (R – CA) today warned that he will block any attempt to pass an authorization for the new ISIS war that includes any restriction on the use of US ground troops.
McKeon cited comments from former Pentagon chiefs saying the new war needed “boots on the ground,” and insisted any bill that aimed to limit that would be dead on arrival in his committee.
President Obama has repeatedly ruled out boots on the ground, though he’s sent some 3,000 ground troops already, and has amended that to say they won’t engage in combat. Even that, however, is being openly debated.
An authorization bill that aims to hold Obama to his word, then, might make some sense, but is facing major opposition from the assorted hawks, like McKeon, for whom the ongoing escalation is only the beginning of a broad, open-ended war.