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Weighing the impact of sending ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria

by AirTalk®

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Musa, a 25-year-old Kurdish marksman, stands atop a building as he looks at the destroyed Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, on January 30, 2015. BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Under the Obama Administration, military operations in Syria gave the U.S. a position to monitor the operations without intervention.

But President Trump may have other plans in the fight against ISIS. An official from the Defense Department last month told CNN that conventional forces could hit the ground in Syria. And the Washington Post reported that U.S. officials have cited a Pentagon plan for a forthcoming assault on Raqqa, ISIS’ Syrian capital. This would require adjustments to current restrictions on U.S. involvement in Syria, lifting a cap on military size in that country.

The proposal wouldn’t necessarily put more boots on the ground, it would mean more involvement in decisions from Washington, and President Trump did pledge during the presidential race that he would amp up military action to combat ISIS.

So how effective could it be to send troops to Syria? Larry weighs in with experts on the pros and cons.


Jessica Ashooh, scholar at the Atlantic Council, specializing in Middle East task force strategy; she was a senior policy planning analyst in the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a participant in the Geneva II peace talks

Joshua Landis, professor of international and area studies and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma; Landis’ blog is

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