Political journalists and hosts owe Robert Gates a big ol’ thank you card. His prediction earlier this week, that it would be impossible to defeat ISIS without boots of the ground and that President Barack Obama was “trapping himself” by eliminating the option, has allowed pundits to put the “boots on the ground” question in the mouth of a former Defense Secretary, as Fox News’ Ed Henry did to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest this week.
George Stephanopoulos asked the same to UN Ambassador Samantha Power on ABC News’ This Week Sunday morning.
“The president is relying on military advice from [Joint Chiefs] Chairman Dempsey and [Defense] Secretary Hagel,” Power said. “They believe that the strategy that the president had laid out can be successful.”
Gates’ phrasing has also allowed administration spokespeople wiggle room, as he didn’t explicitly say the effort would require American troops. This was Earnest’s answer to the question Thursday, and it was reiterated by Power.
“There are troops on the ground,” Power said. “There are Iraqi tropps, Kurdish troops, Syria troops, who have been fighting ISIL at great expense and great sacrifice. …So we think that the strategy can succeed, and most importantly we have the greatest military in the world, and they believe that.”
Watch the clip below, via ABC News:
[Image via screengrab]
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