Forget hashtag diplomacy. Sen. John McCain said if he were president, he would send U.S. troops to Nigeria to rescue the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by an Islamist rebel group, regardless of whether he had the permission of the Nigerian government.
“If they knew where they were, I certainly would sent in U.S. troops for a rescue,” McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said Tuesday. “In a New York minute I would.”
According to McCain, a United Nations bylaw permits U.S. troops on the ground in Nigeria because the kidnapping is a crime against humanity.
“That gives any nation the license, if they can, to stop a crime against humanity,” McCain said. “It’s the same reason we should have, if we could have, gone in and freed people at Dachau or Auschwitz.”
A reporter then asked McCain whether lawmakers would agree with sending troops to another country.
“If we rescued these young girls,” McCain said. “It would be the high point of the president’s popularity.”
McCain is among the most vocal critics of Obama’s foreign policy strategy, suggesting his approach has been weak and misguided, allowing adversaries to strengthen their hand.
Before calling for a U.S. military rescue of the kidnapped schoolgirls, McCain was mocking Obama for sending Ukraine a shipment of food by rented truck in order not to anger Russian President Vladimir Putin by flying the supplies in with U.S. military aircraft.
“Whatever we do, we don’t want to provoke Vladimir,” McCain taunted. “You can’t make this up.”