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Presidential candidate Bush wants ground forces to help fight Islamic State

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 01:13

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush calls for an increased troop presence on the ground in the Middle East to fight Islamic State militants. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush called for an increased American troop presence on the ground in the Middle East to counter Islamic State militants following the Paris attacks, saying President Barack Obama's policy of air strikes is not enough. "While air power is essential, it alone cannot bring the results we seek," Bush said in a speech at The Citadel, a military college. "The United States - in conjunction with our NATO allies and more Arab partners - will need to increase our presence on the ground." Bush used the speech to shift slightly his proposals on how to take on Islamic State militants after 129 people were killed in the Paris attacks last Friday. The former Florida governor has been calling for more U.S. special operations forces to be embedded with Iraqi units to help identify enemy targets. If elected in November 2016, Bush said he also would build an international coalition including regional countries to use "overwhelming force" to take out Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq. In his speech, he did not say how many more troops are needed, saying the scope of any increased U.S. presence on the ground should be in line with what U.S. military generals recommend. "But the bulk of these ground troops will need to come from local forces that we have built workable relationships with," he said. Bush, looking to show he is capable of being commander in chief in the face of multiple threats abroad, laid out a national security strategy in a speech that he retooled in order to take account of the Paris attacks. Iraq is a sensitive subject for Bush, given the dismay some Americans feel over the rationale for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq ordered by his brother, former President George W. Bush. Reuters-Ipsos poll found on Tuesday that 33 percent of Republican voters felt Trump would be the strongest candidate to deal with terrorism, followed by Senator Marco Rubio at 17 percent. Carson and Bush were tied at about 9 percent.

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Presidential candidate Bush wants ground forces to help fight Islamic State

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 01:13