Rick Perry Calls for More Airstrikes Against Islamic State - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Rick Perry Calls for More Airstrikes Against Islamic State

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(USA Today) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday called on the Obama administration to step up airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying the group could pose a direct threat to the U.S.

"Nothing less than an airstrike to destroy ISIS forces is required," Perry told a packed audience at an event sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank and the National Review.

The Republican governor was expected to speak about the crisis of Central American children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Perry has deployed up to 1,000 National Guard troops at the Texas border, prompting critics to charge that he is militarizing the border.

But Perry, who is considering a second run for the GOP nomination for president, focused most of his remarks on the urgency of defeating the Islamic State, which he said was related to border security.

In addition to airstrikes, the U.S. must send more special operations forces and intelligence gatherers into Iraq to help the Iraqi government, Perry said.

In response to a question about whether he advocates sending U.S. ground troops back into Iraq, the governor said that all options should be kept open.

The Islamic State "need to be eliminated, and they need to be eliminated now," Perry said.

The governor said he understands that President Obama is being warned by advisers and fellow Democrats about the danger of "mission creep" by sending U.S. military forces back into Iraq.

But Perry said Obama should be more worried about the Islamic State's definition of "mission creep" — an attack against the United States.

The governor brought the issue back to Texas by saying he fears terrorists could slip across what he called an "unsecured" Southwest border.

"There's a very real possibility they could already be coming," Perry said.

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