Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger says the U.S. should deploy special forces to combat the Islamic insurgency in Iraq.
The Bloomington-raised Republican, promoted to Major during his past stint with the Air National Guard, made his case to reporters in Washington on Wednesday, arguing: "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 stated that "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."
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is mulling options for a potential military intervention that rules out the deployment of American ground troops but not airstrikes. He will deliver a statement on Iraq Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. ET/11:30 CT.
The Obama Administration removed the remaining troops from Iraq in late 2011. Nearly three years later, the country is embroiled in violent civil strife with Sunni militants staging an attack on the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Iraqi politicial leaders were looking to replace Maliki with a candidate who could better bridge the divide between the Sunni and Shiite factions.
Kinzinger, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, released a statement last week urging Obama to order air and drone strikes against extremists.
On Wednesday he criticized the president's decision to spend Father's Day playing golf in Palm Springs, Calif., while Iraq was in a state of crisis.
"He went golfing this weekend and meanwhile Iraq is falling apart," sniped Kinzinger.