Walker wants direct combat in Iraq, but no additional boots on ground, yet

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is calling for U.S. forces in Iraq to engage in direct combat to defeat what he calls "radical Islamic terrorists."

But the Wisconsin governor continues to avoid calling for additional ground troops beyond the 3,200 military security personnel, trainers and advisers who are now deployed.

The Islamic State group is believed to have up to 30,000 fighters -- with replacements coming in as fast as the current U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi forces can kill them.

Walker spoke today at The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina.

As he outlined his foreign policy vision, he accused the Obama administration of "tying up our troops with political restrictions," and "preventing them from doing what is necessary" to defeat the Islamic State group.

He said the restrictions should be lifted, and that "all other options should remain on the table."

But Walker also said the effort has to be part of a U.S.-led coalition from the region.

He told several hundred Citadel cadets that he would send them into battle only when the nation's security is at risk -- and that he would do so "with a plan for victory."

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APPHOTO SCMS102: Republican presidential candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, gives a foreign policy speech on the campus of The Citadel, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Mic Smith) (28 Aug 2015)

<<APPHOTO SCMS102 (08/28/15)££

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