WASHINGTON—Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a major in the Air National Guard, said Wednesday with Iraq in crisis, the U.S. should consider sending special forces to the troubled nation.
Kinzinger previously said he would back U.S. drone and air strikes—as President Barack Obama is leaning against a major air offensive.
“But when you have a group that makes Al-Qaeda look like a bunch of puppy dogs you know, moving into Iraq, I think our best for hope is the preservation of the Iraqi state, and that’s going to include some form of air strikes,” Kinzinger told reporters in the Capitol.
“It’s not going to be pretty, it’s not the panacea, but I think it gives breathing room for the Iraqi government to be able to counter-attack, to be able to buy some time,” Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger made his comments as Obama is considering some kind of U.S. involvement in Iraq. The White House, while ruling out ground troops is weighing sending a small number of special forces.
Obama is meeting with the top congressional leaders on Wednesday in the White House to discuss options.
Kinzinger, a pilot who served in Iraq and Afghanistan said there was no time to “button down and pin down ISIS in the cities that they are in, so it restricts their freedom of movement”
Kinzinger said if the U.S. takes the time for a political solution to emerge, “we’re not going to have a state left.”
While ground troops are not in the picture, Obama is open to sending in small numbers of elite soldiers. Kinzinger agreed, saying, “the idea of special forces that can work with the Iraqi military and can also pinpoint targets where they need to be pinpointed is something that ought to be on the table.”
Kinzinger also criticized Obama for a golf outing this past weekend, saying it sends the wrong message to the world.
“He went golfing this weekend and meanwhile Iraq is falling apart,” Kinzinger said.