U.S. senator John McCain pushed for a military presence of “no less than 20,000 troops” in Brazil for the remainder of the World Cup to “help the U.S. soccer team finish the job.” The senator also said the military would provide a stabilizing force for the World Cup, which has seen some protests.
“It’s not a question of if we should do it, we need to do it now,” McCain said on one of his stops on morning news shows. “We go in there, put some boots on the ground, show the other teams we’re serious, back them up with air support and a naval presence along Brazil’s coast, and we make sure the World Cup is won. Then we stick around for as long as possible to make sure no one tries to take the trophy from us.”
Yet despite pressure from McCain, President Barack Obama currently has no plans to send U.S. troops to the World Cup.
“There is a small security detail with the U.S. men’s national team and I feel that is more than sufficient for the operation,” Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary told reporters. “The president doesn’t want to get the military involved in a soccer tournament, nor does he believe the American people want military involvement in soccer.”
But McCain says that decision is just the administration’s latest example of a failure to lead.
“American people care a lot more about soccer than the president knows,” said McCain. “And more and more are caring all the time. We face Portugal and Germany next. The time to act is now, not after we lose or play them to a stalemate. Angela Merkel is already in Brazil. I can tell the president one thing, she’s not there just to watch soccer. We need to get in first before they do. He can’t be that naive.”
McCain said he currently doesn’t advocate bombing or sending troops into Germany “to respond to Merkel’s act of aggression,” but said “all options must remain on the table.”
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