Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | Steve Malzberg Show | Syria | War on Terrorism | Brad Thor

Terror Expert Brad Thor: US Needs Spies in Iraq

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 06:50 PM

Forget ground troops, the United States needs to send spies into Iraq if it hopes to stop the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from taking over, bestselling thriller writer and terrorism expert Brad Thor tells Newsmax TV.

"I'd rather see sandals on the ground as opposed to boots on the ground . . . CIA guys,'' Thor said on "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Tuesday.

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"I want to see them walking around with ammo cans full of money, and I want us to be buying as much intel as we can over there, which I hope is going on right now.''

Thor — whose new book is "Act of War,'' published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books — says intelligence began getting the short shrift under President Jimmy Carter's watch.

"[They said] let's leave it all to technology, let's not take risks. This has been a deepening problem, particularly at the Central CIA, for years,'' Thor said.

"I know somebody who left the CIA because the final straw for him was seeing a sign in somebody's [cubicle] that said, 'Big ops, big problems, small ops, small problems, no ops, no problems.'"

"There's some great men and women there, but we need a reformation at the CIA to get it back along the lines of its precursor, the OSS [Office of Strategic Services].''

That said, Thor heaped praise on the Special Forces teams that have been recently deployed.

"They're excellent at helping develop human networks and gathering intelligence,'' said Thor, a member of the Heritage Foundation whose other novels include "The Last Patriot," "Blowback" and "The Apostle.''

Thor described his reality-based yarns as "faction.''

"It's heavily based in reality, [but] you don't know where the facts end and the fiction begins,'' he said.

His latest, "Act of War,'' he told Malzberg, is partly based on a government plan that calls for "unrestricted warfare.''

"There's actually a white paper out there with a nation that realizes they can't beat us on the convention battlefield and they want to collapse us from within,'' he said.

"So that for me as a thriller writer is fun material. I like to base it in as much reality as possible.''

Thor is not impressed with President Barack Obama's foreign policy leadership.

He said the president began his presidency with the credo that "if we extend our hand, they'll unclench their fist, which is absolutely naïve.''

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