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boots on the ground

boots on the ground
 n.pl.— «Many American strategists now argue that even light, token US land forces—”getting US combat boots on the ground,” as General Warner puts it—would signal to an enemy that the US is physically guarding the area and can only be dislodged at the risk of war.» —“US rapid strike force: How to get there first with the most” by John K. Coole Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Mass.) Apr. 11, 1980. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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