"I wish the president would stop saying we're not going to have combat troops on the ground," McCain said in an interview with USA TODAY. "In support roles, in special forces roles, intelligence, and particularly (in) target acquisition, we can have people there."
Airstrikes are insufficient to end the threat posed by ISIS, McCain said. "But I don't think it's necessary to have large combat units … Because I don't think we have to, number one, and the more we do send in, the higher likelihood of casualties."
McCain has urged that the U.S. also target forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. And he refuted Obama's assertion that the rise of the Islamic State militant group, and the deterioration of the Iraqi military, had been underestimated by U.S. intelligence, calling it a "dog ate my homework" rationale.