Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is against using U.S. military troops to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against a band of militants.
A group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an off shoot of al-Qaeda, has taken over Iraq’s second-largest city as of late, and threatens to topple the government.
American officials have been debating how the U.S. should respond to the escalation of violence.
For most the Kentucky’s Senate race Grimes has sparred with Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell over domestic issues.
Grimes made it clear in a campaign statement released Friday she opposes any troop involvement.
“Ultimately, this fight is up to the people of Iraq,” Grimes said. “I would not support the United States reintroducing troops in Iraq. The United States should continue to play a supportive role by providing useful intelligence.”
McConnell called on President Obama to assist Iraq on Friday, saying the fall of their government would pose a “grave threat” to U.S. national security.
The GOP leader did not call for troops to be deployed nor did he specify what military action should be taken against the militants.
Foreign policy advisors on both sides of the aisle have noted President Obama had limited options due to Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s refusal to sign an agreement allowing a certain level of U.S. troops to remain.
McConnell still found room to take shots at the Obama administration’s foreign policy decisions, however.
“The Iraqi security forces are now less capable than when the president withdrew the entirety of our force without successfully negotiating a remaining U.S. presence capable of preserving our gains and mentoring our partners,” he said.
The U.S. has sent a Navy aircraft carrier to the Gulf region in order to give the president “flexibility” on military options.