Robert McFarlane: US Must Lead Coalition to Destroy ISIS

Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 05:49 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Islamic State must be crushed by a coalition of governments around the world, but the United States must take the lead by putting "thousands" of military advisers on the ground, says Robert McFarlane, who was a national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

"There must be contributions from all of these countries, but the United States is the only country that could organize it and provide the leadership in how they deploy," McFarlane said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"The critical dimension has got to be advising how to maneuver to destroy ISIS . . . and that can only be done by experienced, trained special forces — people that could only come from the United States.

"We don't have to carry the total burden, and I believe the other interested parties — Saudi Arabia, gulf Arabs and so forth — can provide the cash to pay for this."

McFarlane, who was the architect of the Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars"  program, called ISIS — which has been mass-murdering Iraqis in a bid to create a religious state known as a caliphate — a "very, very powerful" force.

"In order to bring it down it's going to need a sustained, combined arms effort for a long period of time," he said.

In addition to significant airstrikes, "ground advisers in the thousands" must be deployed to advise the coalition, he said.

"This is going to take a year, it's going to take thousands of special operation, Special Forces, people and a sustained effort by our country and allies for a long time.

"So, anything less is more equivocation that just won't cut it. We've got to get on with this and do it right now."

The effort will not be "a walk in the park. It takes serious action," he warned.

McFarlane's advice came as three top ISIS members, including an aide to leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, were killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, according to reports based on information from senior Baghdad security officials.

Abu Hajar al-Sufi, an aide to Baghdadi, died in the strike in Mosul, NBC News reported Thursday.

The others killed were an explosives operative and the military leader of nearby Tel Afar, the Iraqi official said.

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