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Are US Ground Troops The Reaction ISIS Wants?

Some members of Congress are calling on the Obama administration to send U.S. combat troops to fight ISIS. ISIS is OK with that.

By Elizabeth Hagedorn | May 19, 2015

U.S. warplanes have been bombing ISIS targets for nine months. For some members of Congress, that's not going to cut it. (Video via U.S. Central Command

A small but vocal group is calling for ground troops. 

"It will take us thousands of American soldiers," Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN.

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"We are going to have to have boots on the ground," Sen. John McCain told Fox News.

So is ISIS.

"Send all your forces; send them all. Send all your reserves; send all your backups," an ISIS fighter says in a propaganda video.

ISIS is arguably seeking more than revenge with its brutal on-camera executions. It's seeking a reaction.

And it's getting one. Recent polling shows a majority of Americans now support deploying ground troops to fight ISIS.  

On the one hand, ISIS provoking open warfare doesn't make much sense. Why would a group trying to expand its territory want to pick a fight with U.S. forces?

But consider the propaganda value the death of just one American soldier would have.

Counterterrorism expert Ali Soufan put it like this"They are trying to suck the west into the war with them. … Then they'll be not only the regional bad boy, but also the bad boy for the global jihadi movement."

"I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama told troops at the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

Although President Obama says he won't return combat troops to Iraq, he hasn't ruled out limited on-the-ground operations. (Video via U.S. Department of Defense / Army Sgt. William Washburn

Just last week, U.S. special forces raided an ISIS compound, killing one of the group's leaders.

The raid was the administration's first publicly known offensive ground operation in Syria.

This video includes an image from Getty Images. 

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