VPR Header
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
VPR News
Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Sanders: Sending Ground Troops to Syria To Fight ISIS Is A Big Mistake

Angela Evancie
Sen. Bernie Sanders, shown here at a press conference in Burlington in April, says he fears "perpetual war in the Middle East" if American troops are sent to fight in Syria.

Senator Bernie Sanders says he’s growing increasingly concerned that American troops will soon be sent to fight in Syria. Sanders says taking this military action would be an enormous mistake.  

The Vermont senator says it’s clear that air strikes alone will not destroy the terrorist group known as ISIS, and he thinks the United States will inevitably be drawn into a wider conflict in Syria.

“That concerns me very, very deeply because I can see that effort, getting combat troops into Syria, just becoming larger and larger,” said Sanders. “And getting us sucked into a quagmire and literally into perpetual war in the Middle East.”

"I can see that effort ... getting us sucked into a quagmire and literally into perpetual war in the Middle East." - Senator Bernie Sanders

Sanders says the “war against” ISIS can’t be won unless a strong coalition of Muslim countries in the region join together and commit ground troops to the military conflict.

Sanders says the United States should support this effort but under no circumstances should American troops be sent to fight.

“What this war should be about are Muslim nations who are taking on a group of cruel people, extremists who have distorted Islamic ideology for their own purposes,” said Sanders. “And they have got to lead the effort.”

Earlier this month, Sanders voted against a bill that gave President Obama the approval to launch limited air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria.

Sanders believes that additional Congressional authorization would be needed if the President wanted to deploy American soldiers to the region.