Foreign Policy Expert Carafano: ISIS Is 'Ebola of Terrorists'

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 11:21 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The Islamic State is tantamount to the "Ebola of terrorists," a group deadlier than anything ever before seen around the world, according to Heritage Foundation foreign policy expert James Carafano, appearing Wednesday on Newsmax TV’s "America’s Forum" with former CIA analyst Lisa Ruth to discuss how the United States should proceed against it.

"They have pulled together all the tactics and things that have worked for transnational terrorist groups over the years, and they pulled them all together, kind of in the best of the best," Carafano said of IS, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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"So whether it's social networking, or how they finance themselves, or how they use the foreign fighter pipeline, or how they do operations on the ground, they have really tried to learn from the last decade of the long war and all those best practices to use to make ISIS the most formidable terrorist threat that we've seen in the last two decades," he said.

The beheading of American journalist James Foley is standard operating procedure for ISIS, but will heighten awareness of the violent terror group with Americans, Ruth said.

"Polls are starting to move," she said. "Americans used to say nothing in Iraq, stay out of Iraq, we don't want to get involved. You look at the polls now, people are starting to say, we have to do something. This is going to increase that sense we have to do something."

She noted that the United States will be unable to "airstrike our way out of this" and will need to engage in a "coordinated effort" with other nations to effectively root ISIS out of the region.

Carafano agreed, explaining that "bombing and the droning … works great when you're going after formations in the field, but when those guys are pushed back and withdraw to places like Tikrit, you've got to go in on the ground, and the bombing's actually very limited, so there's going to have to be a ground force there, whether it be the Iraqi Army, the Peshmerga … and they're going to have to fight street to street."

Even if the United States manages to push ISIS out of Iraq, what’s next, he asked.

"How do you prevent the storm from just flooding back in? There's going to have to be an international presence there. Maybe not a U.S. military, but there's going to have to be a military presence there to provide kind of a bulwark while the Iraqis build up the capacity. We made a huge mistake when we pulled out last time. Somebody's got to be sitting there while the Iraqis get their act back together, otherwise this is just going to be break, repeat, break, repeat. That's going to not work."

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