Top U.S. general: ‘We are not trying to destroy ISIS…’All these buildings are standing. Why?’

Monday, November 23, 2015
By Paul Martin

Nov. 23, 2014

ISIS can be defeated, but it will take much greater will on the part of President Obama, an exponentially more robust air campaign with more reasonable rules of engagement and Arab ground forces to get the job done, according to retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney.

McInerney spent 35 years in uniform and rose to the role of assistant vice chief of staff, the number three position in the Air Force. He also served as a combat pilot in Vietnam and as vice commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe. He said the first step is for Obama to admit the U.S. currently has no strategy.

“He doesn’t have a strategy and that’s why, 16 months after we started the air campaign, we’re still at it,” said McInerney, who compared America’s current policy of a few sorties a day to what was accomplished back in the Gulf War in 1991.

“Desert Storm was 600,000 troops against Saddam Hussein’s forces,” he said. “We had a 43-day air campaign and a 100-hour ground campaign. I don’t understand what the president’s strategy is. I don’t know what the president’s purpose is. He just has not exhibited any desire to take ISIS out.”

The U.S. campaign began after ISIS released videos showing the beheading of two American journalists. But even then, McInerney said Obama started America’s policy off on the wrong foot.

“We are not trying to destroy ISIS,” he said. “The president talks about degrade and destroy. No American president in our history has ever said degrade the enemy and then destroy them. It’s always destroy them.”

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