The dispatch of ground troops to Iraq is the only viable way to stop the bloodbath being staged by al-Qaida splinter group ISIS as it takes over city after city, retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North says.
"The only real option is something [President Barack Obama] said he couldn't do and wouldn't do and that's put U.S. boots on the ground,'' North, host of Fox News' 'War Stories," told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Here's the problem trying to run air strikes…. You're talking about dropping bombs on people who are intermingled among an enormous refugee population.
"And so the United States would be in a terrible position of … killing perhaps thousands of people with U.S. air strikes. There's not a single person I've talked to … that wants to drop bombs on civilians.''
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North said Obama would positively need a Status of Forces Agreement — which sets guidelines for foreign military personnel in a host country — before changing his mind and agreeing to ground troops.
"If you put American boots on the ground in Iraq without a Status of Forces Agreement from [Iraqi President Nouri] Maliki you'd be crazy,'' North said.
"I can't imagine the United States of America going along with it. I can't imagine [Defense Secretary] Chuck Hagel….'
North — author the new thriller, "Counterfeit Lies,''
co-written with Bob Hamer and published by Threshold Editions — said compounding the Iraqi crisis is that the Revolutionary Guard, which is supposed to protect the Iraqi regime, are responsible for American deaths themselves.
"These are the same Iranians, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, that have killed hundreds of American soldiers and marines with their improvised explosive devices, these exploding penetrators that they've developed and they're the masters of it,'' he said.
"On top of it, there's several thousands of them already in Iraq and their mission has nothing to do with the United States. They could care less about our embassy getting overrun.''
North also raised the specter of terrorists entering the U.S. with American passports.
"Some of these terrorists have American passports. They are American citizens who went to Syria to fight in the Jihad,'' North said.
"There's probably several dozen of them maybe over 100 and the fact is they already have American passports, they've now had two plus years of training with ISIS inside Syria and now back in Iraq.
"God help us if those guys come to the United States with some kind of plan to carry out terror because you'll have IEDs [improvised explosive devices] going off in the streets of the United States.''
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