President Barack Obama has a message for those hoping for a peaceful end to the conflict in Syria.
“It’s a long war, and it’s going to be a long one, and we’ve got to figure out a way to make sure we’re prepared,” Obama said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“And, you know, it’s one of those things, you’ve got a president, you have the Congress, and you’ve just got to make the case.
I can’t understand what it might be like.
I don’t know what it feels like to be in a situation like that, and I just don’t think we’re ready to do it.”
Obama has said he won’t send American ground troops to the Middle East because it would take a huge military commitment.
He has also said the U.S. will continue to send arms and money to the opposition, which include some foreign fighters who fought with the Syrian government against rebel groups such as ISIS.
But he’s also been more open about his own thinking on whether to send American troops to Syria.
In a Feb. 14 speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Obama suggested that he might send a small number of special operations forces to fight ISIS.
The president has said that while he hasn’t given a definitive answer on whether he’ll send American combat troops into Syria, he is open to it.
He said the president’s own team, “is not looking to send ground troops.”
“We are going to make a decision when we come to it, but we have not made a decision,” Obama told the Center.
“The decision is going to have to be made by the president, and that’s what I’m going to do.
That’s the plan.
And I have not had to decide yet.
But I am open to doing it.”
The president also said he would consider arming and training a few of the rebels, but said it would require some coordination with Congress.
“What you’ve done in the last week, if you were to look at it and say, ‘OK, let’s try to arm a few groups and train them in a few different ways, and let’s see if it helps us with the transition,’ I think that would be very helpful, but I’m not going to say that,” Obama added.
“We’re going to let Congress make that decision.”