Four high ranking Generals and a former defense secretary are questioning Obama’s reluctance to deploy U.S. ground troops in Iraq.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that American ground troops might be needed in Iraq. U.S. Army Chief, General Ray Odierno said ground forces will be needed, but carefully avoided saying they would have to be American troops. Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni, former chief of the U.S. Central Command, tells CNN “why the strategy to deal with ISIS President Obama has put forward has a weak link. Obama’s ‘rent-an-army’ approach—unwilling to put ‘boots on the ground’ is not going to work.” And retired U.S. Marine Commander, General James “Maddog” Mattis, during the hearing of the House Intelligence Committee blasted the President’s decision to restrict the use of ground troops saying it “sends the wrong signal”.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates also said that the Obama administration would need to use combat troops on the ground.
President Obama wants the Iraqi army and the Kurds to engage in ground combat, but General Dempsey (Ret.) said only about half the Iraqi troops are up on “being partners” with the U.S. General Odierno said it isn’t that the Iraqi army lost to ISIS, but that they didn’t even fight them. They surrendered to them.
General Jack Keane (Ret.) and former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army, on the Kelly File Thursday, said Obama should be bombing ISIS targets in Syria now while the targets are exposed—the infrastructure, the training areas, the supply bases for the troops and the command and control. Keane said the longer you wait the more opportunity for ISIS to protect and conceal those targets. Now they are moving into the cities. He also believes that a ground campaign is needed.
Keane noted that the Syrian army needs to be equipped (armed and trained) and the Obama administration refused to do that for three years. Now they will, but they have indicated it will not be to the degree needed.
Keane agreed with some of the other generals’ sentiment that we have an unproven ground team in the Iraq army and their potential partners. While there are U.S. advisors there with fighting units, it is doubtful that is enough.
Lt. Gen Tom Mcinereny, a Fox News military analyst, told Megyn Kelly Thursday that “if we were to defeat ISIS quickly and decisively, it will change the calculus in the Middle East, this will change our role and this will change the role of the radical Islamists.” He added that if we try to do this in one, two, three years from now as President Obama wants, “all it will do is create greater problems because there will be more and more radical Islamist joining the cause.”
Mcinereny advised, “it must be done quickly and decisively. The Generals want it this way. The President wants to get through the November election”, adding that wiping out ISIS could be accomplished in three months.
These generals are not alone. The America people do not approve according to a New York Times/CBS poll:
Is President Obama tough enough in dealing with ISIS?
Does President Obama have a firm plan for dealing with ISIS?
President Obama’s handling of ISIS
Wednesday night on Hannity, radio host Mark Levin said he thinks the military is peacefully revolting against President Obama. If Obama is serious about going after ISIS, Levin said, he should “get a declaration of war, unleash hell on these cockroaches, then get out.”
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