Boston, Feb 7: Top Republican presidential hopefuls have favoured using military force to defeat ISIS, with Iowa Caucus winner Ted Cruz calling for "killing the enemy" and frontrunner Donald Trump seeking to "bomb the oil" to damage the revenue source of the terror outfit.
"America has always been reluctant to use military force. It's the last step we take. But if and when we use it when it comes to defeating ISIS, we should use it," Senator Ted Cruz, winner of the Iowa Caucus, said during the Republican presidential debate yesterday.
"We should use overwhelming force, kill the enemy and then get the heck out. Don't engage in nation-building..." said Cruz who in the past has also advocated for massive carpet bombing to defeat ISIS.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is now considered as an Republican establishment candidate after his impressive performance in Iowa Caucus, argued that ISIS needs to be defeated.
"And I believe they need to be defeated on the ground, by a ground force, made up primarily of Sunni Arabs," he said.
"It will take Sunni Arabs to reject them ideologically and defeat them militarily," he said, adding: "That will need to be backed up with more US special operation forces alongside them," Rubio said.
"We need to understand who they are. ISIS is not just a jihadist group, they're an apocalyptic group," he said. Trump said "bomb the oil and take the oil".
"You have to knock the hell out of the oil. You have to take the oil. And you have also back channels of banking. You have people that you think are our great allies, our friends, in the Middle East, that are paying tremendous numbers of -- tremendous amounts of money to ISIS," he said.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush underscored that dealing with the caliphate is important, because it now has spawned other areas. There have been 70-plus attacks in 17 countries, either inspired by ISIS or organised by ISIS, Libya being the most important one now, he noted.
"The problem with the Obama Administration is that they see this incrementally. They're reluctant. They don't lead. No one knows whether we're serious, and when we do it, we do it in increments you can barely see," Bush alleged, adding: "The United States has to lead in a much more aggressive way than we're doing right now."
Responding to a question, Trump said he would reintroduce extreme torture practices against terrorists.
"I would bring back waterboarding and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding. In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before," he said.