To help accelerate the fight against ISIS, the Pentagon is considering sending U.S. troops to combat the terror organization, according to CNN. The Defense Department is weighing the option of sending ground forces to northern Syria, but the ultimate decision is up to Donald Trump.
Trump has been looking to deal with the threat of radical Islam even before he took office and he appears to be making it a top priority of the early part of his term. He contended that his Muslim ban was a first step to eradicating radicalism in the U.S., but that hit a roadblock after the ban was not reinstated by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He now, reportedly, is looking for a way to quickly deal with the Islamic state, such as taking them on at their home base.
CNN was quick to note the plan to send traditional combat troops to Syria is only in the idea stage, as President Trump is accepting recommendations on ways to deal with ISIS:
U.S. officials are characterizing the concept of deploying ground troops as a point of discussion, stopping short of saying it’s a formal proposal.
What their exact mission would be is not yet clear, but one goal of their presence would be to help reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces are not posing a threat to Ankara’s interests. It’s possible some troops would deploy first to Kuwait and then move into Syria.
Trump’s doing plenty of things differently than his predecessors did, and this issue is no exception. The Obama administration didn’t use ground troops because they felt it was too risky of a prospect. Trump appears to be looking for even more change, and he’s reportedly hinting at doing away with the process of limiting troops in certain countries. This would presumably give commanders more wiggle room to conduct strategies.
CNN adds that discussions have also included “increased cooperation with the Russians and the arming of Kurdish groups in northern Syria” with some U.S. military support, which won’t make Turkey happy at all. Still, none of this is concrete yet, and with Russia being a hot topic following Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation, Trump may decide to hold off on any sudden moves.