Tags: America's Forum | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | Derek Harvey | jihadists | children | combat

Col. Harvey: Kids in Combat Zones New Reality for US to Confront

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:12 AM

Confronting children in battle is the next frontier for American soldiers, retired Army Col. Derek Harvey said Monday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

"We're going to confront youthful, very young fighters who might be carrying a grenade or might have explosives on them," he said. "These types of things we've confronted in small pieces in different places in the past in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"This may be more systematized when we go and fight in places like Mosul."

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"It will cause us to pause and have to think this through. It has a real impact," Harvey said.

"There will be images of young kids who would be killed and that will be portrayed in ISIS's social media to further inflame Sunni Arab communities not only in Iraq and Syria, but across the region. It's very maligned in its intent and they're very good at it. We just have to be prepared to counter it."

Special: Find Out Everything You Need to Know About the Rise of ISIS — Click Here

The indoctrination of children has long been a tool of violent extremists, such as Hamas and in other Palestinian groups and in Iran, he said, but regularly facing children in a combat zone is likely to become more the rule than an exception.

Harvey also addressed remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson concerning a threat made by the Somalia-based al-Shabaab against shopping malls, specifically the Mall of America in Minnesota.

The violent terror group released a video in which it called for attacks on Western shopping areas and named the Mall of America, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada and London's Oxford Street.

"Al-Shabaab has been a terrorist organization operating in Somalia and East Africa for some time," said Harvey. "They're behind bombings and other attacks in that part of the world. They conducted a mall attack themselves not too long ago, in 2013. They have a community that resides in the Minneapolis area they recruit from, have had some success recruiting Somalians to come back and fight for them."

There have been threats against the Mall of America since at least 2004, he said, adding that he didn't think there was anything imminent about the latest one.

"We've always known that malls are a potential prime target that could have outsized impact on the U.S. economy, particularly if they hit around Thanksgiving."

He also weighed in on Russia's cease-fire in Ukraine, something Harvey predicted will be short-lived.

"We're going to see a pattern and the pattern has already been emerging, which is to engage, talk, then break those tactical agreements because they're only stepping stones to the next step for Vladimir Putin," he said. "He knows the West doesn't want a confrontation, but he'll make an agreement, hold it for a while, and then move on and continue to erode it on the fringes.

"This may be foreshadowing a larger move by Putin to take a major land grab in Latvia, Estonia or someplace else."

President Barack Obama, he added, "has a pattern of letting down friends, allies and shooting behind the rabbit, always reacting to something after it has already taken place.

"If we would've armed the Ukrainians, provided more steadfast political as well as limited military support to help them earlier, it would've shown Putin that there was something behind the words.

"But we failed to do that. We failed to do it in northern Iraq, with the Yazidis, Mosul and ISIS warnings two years ago."

Special: ISIS: Everything you need to know about the rise of the militant group — Click Here

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Confronting children in battle is the next frontier for American soldiers, retired Army Col. Derek Harvey said Monday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."
Derek Harvey, jihadists, children, combat
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2015-12-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:12 AM
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