Pete Hoekstra: Is Obama's Plan In Iraq Sufficient?

Friday, 08 Aug 2014 11:36 AM

By Courtney Coren

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President Barack Obama announced that the United States is providing airstrikes in Iraq to help fight back the insurgency led by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan says that the big question is if it will be enough.

"The whole question today for what's going on in Iraq is going to be about sufficiency, is what the president outlined going to be sufficient to achieve the goals that we need to achieve in Iraq?" Hoekstra explained to J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Friday.

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"I applaud the president on beginning the humanitarian strikes, beginning the military precision airstrikes against ISIS, but to move forward, what do we need to do?" he asked.

"Number one, we need to achieve full humanitarian relief," he explained. "We need to get the supplies to these hundreds of thousands of people now that have been driven from their homes."

"The second thing that we need to do, is we need to do the precision airstrikes and we also need to coordinate with the [Kurdish] Peshmerga on the ground so that we can start rolling ISIS back," the Michigan Republican explained.

Hoekstra contends that "this can't be about a delaying tactic for ISIS and saying, 'we're not going to let you go any further.'"

"We actually have to drive them back," he said. "If we provide them with the appropriate military equipment, [the Kurdish Peshmerga] can drive ISIS back out of these cities and for the first time deliver ISIS a bloody nose."

The former House Intelligence committee chairman said that the "Kurds are our friends" and they "can help us defeat ISIS," but they really need more military equipment to get the job done.

"If the Kurds weren't there, these Christians and other religious minorities would absolutely be slaughtered right now by ISIS," he explained.

"They have been cut off from Baghdad in terms of receiving the aid, the money that is rightfully supposed to go from Baghdad to the Kurdish regional government," he said.

"They haven't gotten that since the beginning of the year," the former congressman added. "So they are suffering from a lack of military equipment and a lack of funds."

Hoekstra explained that the oil produced in the Kurdish region could be "offloaded in Houston, refined, and roughly $100 million could go to the Kurdish regional government, immediately, to help fund the humanitarian crisis and help fund their operations and their military."

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