Tags: Emerging Threats | George W. Bush | Hillary Clinton | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | Middle East | Steve Malzberg Show | Syria | War on Terrorism

Elliott Abrams: Obama 'Running Away' From ISIS Threat

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 03:47 PM

Hillary Clinton was ahead of the curve in recognizing the dangers of ISIS, the diabolical al-Qaida spinoff slaughtering Christians in Iraq, says Elliott Abrams, former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush.

Abrams said Clinton, former Army Gen. David Petraeus, along with former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta "all suggested we help the rebels in Syria because they were fighting these ISIS guys."

"We didn't help them, so ISIS grows, grows, and grows. Now it's a huge problem.''

But now that ISIS is a worldwide threat, it is critical for the United States to help defeat them — and collaborating with the Kurds is key, Abrams said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"The first thing that's obvious is we should be helping the Kurds. This is a group that is confident, it's pro-American, and they want to fight ISIS,'' he said.

"We're starting the flow of weaponry to the Kurds to let them fight better and more successfully. We should've been doing that for a while. We should make sure that the weapons flow now is significant.

"They know how to fight, they know how to use these weapons, and they've been fighting for years, for decades. Helping the Kurds is the critical part of this, and the airstrikes are.''

Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is not sure that the "limited" U.S. airstrikes now under way against ISIS are enough.

"My question, and I don't see the intelligence, is what's the purpose of the airstrikes and are we doing enough? I don't think there is anything wrong in saying, 'We're not going to send guys in on the ground; we're going to do this from the air,' but we have to do enough to really hurt ISIS.''

Abrams said President Barack Obama's recent denial that his administration pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq shows "he's running away from a bad set of circumstances to which he contributed."

"Now it's gotten worse, and that's on his watch. This horrible terrorist group called ISIS, the Islamic state, did not exist when he became president.

"The growth, wealth, power, and military prowess of that group, that's on his watch, and obviously he's running away from it.''

Abrams says there must be more world interest in crushing ISIS, which has gone so far as to threaten to invade the United States.

"What we can say to the [United Arab] Emirates, because they have money, is, 'You guys and the Saudis should be helping in Iraq and in Syria and you should be helping the Kurds to fight these guys because you're next.'

"ISIS has said that they want to get rid of the king of Jordan. This is an enemy group to all these people. It's reasonable to ask them to chip in money. The military aid is going to have to come from us — the shipments of arms and ammunition.''

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