Tags: Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | Steve Malzberg Show | Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger | military presence | ISIS | Iraq

Lt. Gen. Bolger: Presence Needed to Stop ISIS Threat From Growing

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 04:19 PM

The United States must keep a small, but solid military force of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan to prevent the world terror threat from the Islamic State (ISIS) from growing even bigger, retired three-star U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger says.

"We need a small presence. With about 10,000 guys in either country," Bolger said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"We messed it up pulling out too quick … The Israelis have a term that they use … when they go after the terrorists that they fight, they call it 'mowing the grass.'

"Just like your grass grows up every week, you've got to mow it. These terrorists grow up and you've got to go after them and keep them knocked down."

Bolger — author of the book, "Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars," published by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — said there are definitive reasons why the U.S. campaigns there failed.

"We went in [Iraq] to try and knock out Saddam Hussein and his Baathist groups and army. We did that very effectively in a few weeks. Lightning campaign in 2003," Bolger explained.

"We did the same thing in '01 in Afghanistan and also took the insides out of al-Qaida. Osama bin Laden was still around, but he was a figurehead without a lot of troops left after we were done with them.

"That said, in both cases, we then stayed and tried to build sort of Jeffersonian Democratic republics in countries that never had traditions of that, didn't really want to do it, and frankly me and the other military guys, we were so blessed with the great young men and women in our Armed Forces, we thought they could pull it off."

Bolger said the United States should have learned from the mistakes it made in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s.

"It's not a winner for U.S. forces to move in and try and pull insurgents out of a village to try and figure out which guy is the terrorist and which guy is the farmer. Just doesn't work," he said.

"Then when we back out to the larger picture, with those two indecisive and frustrating conclusions in Iraq and Afghanistan, both countries very fragile, Iraq barely hanging together in the face of the ISIS threat, Afghans are going to be in big trouble once we pull out our combat forces in about a month.

"It's hard to say worldwide that we're doing anything more than holding our own. The good news is thanks to the courage and bravery of our men and women in uniform, and I include in that our police and first responders at home and our great intel services, we've prevented another 9/11."

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The United States must keep a small, but solid military force of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan to prevent the world terror threat from the Islamic State ISIS) from growing even bigger, retired three-star U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger says.
Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, military presence, ISIS, Iraq
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2014-19-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 04:19 PM
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