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Chris Christie: 'Why Bother' Sending Special Ops Troops To Syria?

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 2/11/2015 Willa Frej

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't see why President Barack Obama is sending 50 special operations forces into Syria.

"You know, 50? Why bother? Why bother?" Christie, a Republican presidential candidate, said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed last week that Obama is sending in special forces to "train, advise and assist" local forces in fighting the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

Many lawmakers have expressed their disapproval. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Christie's rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, called the decision a failure on all fronts. He said he thinks American special forces are "heading into a very bad spot with no chance of winning."

By contrast, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said the move "has the potential of escalating America's role in the war." 

Christie believes Obama should have adhered to his own "red line" and intervened in the Syrian conflict earlier.

"Since he didn't do that, a quarter of a million people have been killed and millions are running for their lives to Europe and to the Middle East," Christie said Monday.

"We set a no-fly zone up first and you start to unite our allies in the Middle East, the Saudis, the Emirates, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, to fight ISIS."

Christie blamed Obama for Russian military involvement in Syria. The Russian military's airstrike campaign has come under fire after reports that it's actually enabling ISIS.

"Putin has now invited the Iranians in and the Cubans, for God's sake," he said. "You've invited the Russians in and their only agenda is to support Assad."

Instead, he recommended instituting a no-fly zone over Syria in order to unite U.S. allies in the Middle East around the fight against the Islamic State.

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