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Rep. Adam Kinzinger backs air, drone strikes over Iraq; sides with GOP war hawks

This morning, Rep. Adam Kinzinger will appear on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley to discuss foreign policy, and specifically the escalating military tensions in Iraq. Kinzinger is a rising star of the Republican Party. Inside the Illinois GOP delegation, Kinzinger has plenty of competition. One of Kinzinger's GOP colleagues, Rep. Peter Roskam, is vying for the leadership slot of House Majority Whip, reports NBC 5 News.

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) speaks to the media after attending a weekly House Republican conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Kinzinger's star is rising nationally with his hawkish views on war.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Yet another colleague, Rep. Aaron Schock, is also vying for a leadership slot too, and that is the slot of Deputy Majority Whip, which he hopes to gain by throwing his support to Rep. Steven Scalise for House Majority Whip and of course. against Roskam. Schock hopes that Scalise would be so grateful to Rep. Schock and appoint him to the slot of Deputy Majority Whip.

But Kinzinger is on a different leadership path, hoping to raise his national profile. Also on the same program this morning, CNN's "State of the Union", is a Democratic colleague, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D - HI). Kinzinger and Gabbard are both veterans of the Iraq war and have called for different responses to the crisis in Iraq. They will once again go toe-to-toe on the Sunday show, as they have on other political programs.

While Kinzinger is not vying for one of these "official" GOP House leadership slots, he is fighting for a designation of his own. Kinzinger is looking to be the leading House GOP spokesman for all points militarily, siding with the war hawks and warmongers in Congress. Kinzinger hopes to raise his national profile along the lines of House Chairman of the Armed Service Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) or the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA).

Of course, he has all the credentials. Kinzinger is not only a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, but he has served in the Air Force Special Operations, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and is currently serves as a Major in the Air National Guard. When he speaks of these matters, he gets attention. With the escalating conflict in Iraq, with the Sunni insurgency raging through the Shiite-ruled Iraq of this centuries-old feud, with the added factor of the al Qaeda-linked rebels known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), have overrun city after city as they head to Baghdad, Iraq.

Kinzinger is speaking out on Iraq and wants President Barack Obama to do something about it: militarily.

President Barack Obama said Thursday the U.S. needs to give more help to Iraq, with areas threatened by Islamic insurgency that is heading towards Bagdad; Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a veteran of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and a major in the Air National Guard said the U.S. should send in air and drone strikes but put no boots on the ground.

"We do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria, for that matter," Obama said Thursday while in the Oval Office with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Obama made in clear: No boots on the ground.

In response, Kinzinger said in a statement, "Seeing cities that American troops fought so hard for fall into the hands of terrorists is absolutely heartbreaking, and we must act decisively if we hope to prevent further chaos throughout the region," said Kinzinger.

"ISIS’ next target is Baghdad, and if the city falls, these extremists will have a foothold from which to promote the growth of terrorism across the entire Middle East. It is time for President Obama to order air and drone strikes against ISIS forces, and deploy special operations teams to work with our Iraqi allies to strategically strike the enemy where they are most vulnerable. The President has missed this opportunity before, and it is time he learns from his mistakes before it is too late," said Kinzinger.

In a statement on Iraq obtained by the Chicago Sun Times political reporter, Lynn Sweet, Kinzinger advocates providing military support to Iraq. "It is not too late to reverse the tragic foreign policy consequences what we’ve seen in the Middle East…this has to be done today; this has to be done now. The blood of Americans have sacrificed for a free Iraq and a free Afghanistan – we cannot let that sacrifice be in vain."

Kinzinger hopes that these appearances will give him the credibility and gravitas to his national profile.