Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has said that troops on the ground is the best way to defeat ISIS, but revealed he is not sure exactly how many soldiers he would send to fight the terror group.
The former neurosurgeon made his comments in response to a question asked on Facebook by an individual identified as Tom, who inquired how many "boots on the ground" would be deployed in a Carson administration.
"Tom, I don't want to send any but this is not a want - it is a need. Now brace yourself because I am about to answer a question that most politicians could never bring themselves to say...I don't know exactly how many," the 64-year-old GOP hopeful responded.
"Tom, here is what I will do. I will meet with the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff, conveying to them my mission," he continued. "I will ask them the best way to accomplish that mission. They would then come back to me with a list of resources they need."
He concluded, "So Tom, the correct answer is not one fewer soldier than what the best and brightest military minds think is necessary. For far too long, we have had a leader that second guesses his commanders. I won't do that. They will have my full support, not my Monday morning quarterbacking."
In a separate interview on Monday, Carson explained that driving ISIS out of Iraq and into Syria would centralize the fight and lead to a more concerted effort to defeat the group.
"I think we ought to take this as a warning that we need to really go in there with very serious intent not to contain them but to take them out completely," he said. "To destroy them, to eliminate them. I would use every resource available to us."
He added that he sees a multinational force with American leadership bolstering "all of the Arab states."
According to CNN, the multinational coalition led by the U.S. has so far launched 8,000 airstrikes against ISIS, and roughly 3,500 U.S. troops are currently in Iraq.
Following the Paris terror attacks on Friday, President Obama declared that airstrikes against the militant group would intensify. However, he emphasized that the government can't "shoot first and aim later," and but must stick with the strategy, while still being flexible.
"We will continue to generate more partners for that strategy and there are going to be some things that we try that don't work. there will be some strategies we try that do work," Obama said. "When we find strategies that work we will double down on those."