Politics

Obama's Syria Policy Draws Criticism From GOP Presidential Candidates

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
helicopter bound for syria and iraqhelicopter bound for syria and iraq

GOP presidential candidates have been quick to criticize President Barack Obama's policies, and his strategy for fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria is no exception.

On Oct. 30, Obama announced that the United States would send 50 Special Operations troops into Syria to combat ISIS in an advisory role, according to the New York Times.

The move was met with resounding criticism from Republican presidential candidates, one of whom could inherit the U.S.’s entanglement with Syria if elected.

Many of the candidates took to the news shows on Nov. 1 to voice their disapproval.

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Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson appeared on ABC's "This Week" and said that Obama’s announcement is a “move in the right direction,” but that it ignores Russia’s role in Syria.

Russia has been conducting air strikes against ISIS, but it has been accused of doing so, in part, to support President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, which the U.S. doesn’t support, BBC reported.

“My much, much, much bigger plan involves Putin and Iran also,” Carson said. “Those are the forces that are propping up the Assad regime, even though Putin came in there and said he was going to fight ISIS, he’s really fighting the anti-Assad forces.”

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was even more critical than Carson when she appeared on "Fox News Sunday," and she said the lack of stability in the Syrian region is the result of lack of American interference.

“I think this is a reflection of the reality that when America does not act, when we do not lead, as we have not in the last three years under this president, our options become very constrained, and the situation becomes more dangerous,” she said.

“I’m glad he did this, but we still do not have a strategy in Syria, we still do not have a strategy to deal with ISIS,” Fiorina added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also made an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," and he said that Obama’s move could be seen as weak.

“Sending 50 American Special Forces into Syria in the eyes of ISIL shows that Obama is not all-in, it is a sign of weakness to (ISIS),” Graham said.

“I see Russia and Iran mopping the floor with Obama and Kerry,” he added.

Sources: New York Times, ABC News, Fox News Sunday via YouTube, Fox News

Photo Credit: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Flickr, Wikimedia Commons