Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly is calling for a mercenary force to take out the Islamic State (ISIS).
President Barack Obama has vowed to put no American "boots on the ground" in Iraq or Syria, fighting ISIS only through airstrikes and ground forces from the Free Syrian Army, Iraq and the Kurdish Peshmerga.
O'Reilly, on his show
Monday night, noted that military experts say the United States has no hope of defeating the terror group without more significant ground forces. But with the American public unwilling to get involved in another Middle East ground war the troops will have to come from somewhere else.
O'Reilly wants hired mercenaries.
He suggested a 25,000-member force he would call The Anti-Terror Army, "elite fighters who would be well-paid, well-trained to defeat terrorists all over the world."
The fighters would be recruited by the United States and trained on U.S. soil by American special operations forces. U.S. Army rules of engagement and the Geneva Conventions would be followed.
America would be in charge of who makes the cut and where they are deployed, O'Reilly said. American and NATO officers would lead the mercenary army, and America would provide logistical support.
The army would be able to take on terrorists worldwide, but the first forces would be places in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
The coalition that Obama currently is trying to build would pay for them, O'Reilly said, and anyone who wants protection would have to chip in.
"If they don't pay, they get no help," he said.
Current soldiers in any army would be excluded with the exception of U.S. and NATO commanders.
Tom Nichols, professor at U.S. Naval War College, told O'Reilly he understands his frustration, but added, "this is a terrible idea" from both moral and practical perspectives.
America can't outsource its national security, Nichols said.
"We're not talking about 'Expendibles 8' here," O'Reilly protested, adding that Americans have hired mercenaries in every war it has ever fought.
"Not for the bulk of it," Nichols replied.
Gillian Turner, a former National Security Council official under the past two presidents, said O'Reilly's plan would fail if for no other reason than it would be hard to get a diverse group of nations to agree to finance an army completely controlled by the United States.
"I think it can be done," O'Reilly insisted.
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