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Brooks doubts Obama’s willingness to ‘do what it takes’ to defeat ISIS

(Above: Lou Dobbs interviews Rep. Mo Brooks)

In an appearance on Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business Network program Tuesday evening, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL5) was adamant that the United States should not commit to a military conflict with ISIS if the President is not willing to do whatever it takes to win.

“I’m troubled by what I’m hearing,” Brooks said. “I don’t see a clear message, on the one hand, and I don’t see a President who is dedicated to the task… It’s somewhat of a half-hearted response, and if we learned nothing else from Vietnam, it’s this: you don’t engage in a war effort unless you’re ready to do what is necessary to win.”

Specifically, Brooks expressed concerns with the President’s recent statement that his strategy “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

On Tuesday, however, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey seemed to contradict the President when he told the House Armed Serves Committee that he would recommend American ground troops be deployed if the ISIS threat continues to evolve.

“When you have the Secretary of Defense or one of our commanding generals say that they’re going to advise the President that if necessary we should use ground forces, and the President says ‘under no circumstances are we going to use ground forces,’ if that’s the President’s attitude then we should not engage because he’s not willing to do what is necessary to win,” Brooks said.

Pivoting back to Brooks’ previous Vietnam comparison, Dobbs asked the north Alabama congressman why he would be open to sending ground troops to fight ISIS when it could be another long, drawn out military engagement. Brooks responded that the Viet Cong were “not a direct threat” to the U.S., while ISIS has consistently said that they plan to attack the American homeland.

“The Islamic State has openly said that they are going to carry the battle to American soil and the White House,” Brooks said. “Given their ability to recruit American citizens to go fight in the Middle East, you have to infer therefrom that they also can recruit American citizens to fight in the United States of America.

“You really get back to the basic premise,” Brooks continued. “If you’re not willing to do what it takes to win a military conflict, you don’t engage. We need our Commander in Chief, the President of the United States, to say publicly that he’s going to do whatever it takes. If he’s not willing to do whatever it takes, then we don’t need to be risking American lives and spending American treasure on what may be all for naught.”

Brooks said that he hopes to hear a clearer message from the Obama Administration when Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel appears before the Armed Services Committee and Secretary of State John Kerry appears before the Foreign Affairs Committee later this week.

Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

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