Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker refused in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” Sunday to rule out a possible re-invasion of Iraq in order to defeat ISIS, telling correspondent Jonathan Karl that he would do whatever was necessary to protect the U.S. security interests.
KARL: You have been very critical of the president’s handling of ISIS. Some are out there, like Senator Graham, saying we should seasoned 10,000 U.S. ground troops right now into Iraq to help with this fight. Do you favor that?
WALKER: I think we shouldn’t rule anything out. I think that’s a big mistake this president has made here and elsewhere about saying how long we would go or how much we would invest.
KARL: I’m not talking about ruling it out. I’m saying, would you do that?
WALKER: No, I’m not arguing that’s the first approach. I’d tell you three specific things I think we should do in Iraq. First, we should re-engage the strength of the American forces that are there. Once you do that, you empower the ally forces that are there in Iraq to reclaim the territory that ISIS has taken. And third, you just need to make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t provide a safe haven, like in Syria as you push them out.
KARL: So, you would not send combat troops now to Iraq?
WALKER: No. I believe right now, we have a capacity to reclaim with Iraq with the Iraqi forces there, as long as we unleash the power that’s already there of the American armed forces.
KARL: You say you wouldn’t rule out– I mean would you rule out a full-blown U.S. re-invasion of Iraq and Syria?
WALKER: I don’t think we should ever send a message to our foes as to how far we’re willing to go.
KARL: So you wouldn’t rule out a full-blown re-invasion?
WALKER: I would not rule out boots on the ground.
KARL: No, but I’m asking, would you rule out a full-blown re-invasion of Iraq?
WALKER: If the national interest of this country are at stake here, at risk in this country or abroad, that to me is the standard that we do for military engagement.