Time is of the essence if the United States plans to intervene in Iraq, where a powerful al-Qaida splinter group is seizing city after city, a Newsmax panel concludes.
President Barack Obama "said everything is on the table, but U.S. troops aren't. So I assume that he means he might be willing to use air power — but he's taking a long time to do this,'' retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Francona told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"He needs to get things moving if we're going to do anything, and his agreement to send more weapons to the Iraqis is not a good idea just yet. They don't know what to do with the weapons.
"They need leadership, and they need some American advice, and I don't see that coming,'' Francona, a military intelligence expert, said Friday.
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He made his remarks following the capture of several Iraqi cities by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS.
Rich Miniter, a terrorism expert and author, agreed that a swift response is necessary, but added that Obama should not have ruled out using American ground troops.
"By telling the Iraqis there's no way that we'll put boots on the ground, what we're doing is offering aid and encouragement to the enemies of order and peace in Iraq,'' he said.
"Secondly, the president is ignoring a key fact, which this is not a ragtag group of militants. This is a powerful, well-funded, well-organized force, organized along military lines.
"[It] has armed vehicles, heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and so on and is able to get a successful number of defections from Iraqi military forces … So the president is really flirting with Armageddon here."
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