Representative Kevin McCarthy, who was elected last week to the
majority leader's post in the House, also said President Barack
Obama needed to lay out an overall strategy for dealing with
terrorism in the Middle East region.
Asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether he would support putting "boots
on the ground" in Iraq, McCarthy said: "I'd put everything on the
table. But most people, when you talk to them, don't think boots on
the ground work right now."
Obama announced last week he was sending up to 300 military advisers
to Iraq's Shi'ite-led government, which is fighting an insurgency
led by the Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Obama, who withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, has
ruled out sending troops back there and has urged the Baghdad
government to take urgent steps to heal the country's sectarian
McCarthy said he supported Obama's decision to send the advisers,
which will staff joint operations centers for intelligence sharing
and planning, but he also called on Obama to outline a broader
strategy for combating terrorism.
"I do not have a problem with sending the 300," McCarthy said. "What
are they going to do? If you don't have an overall strategy, how do
we push back this momentum of this terrorism that is growing
throughout the entire region."
[to top of second column]
McCarthy was elected on Thursday to the majority leader's job by his
fellow Republicans in the House, moving up from the No. 3 position.
He takes over after the current majority leader, Eric Cantor, said
he would step down on July 31 after losing to a Tea Party
conservative this month in a primary election.
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Jim Loney and Gareth Jones)
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