Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | Syria | special | forces

Special Forces Veteran: 'Take The Gloves Off' Against ISIS

By    |   Friday, 19 Sep 2014 08:28 PM

The U.S. should send Special Forces into Syria and Iraq not just to assist regional efforts to wipe out the Islamic State, but to lead strikes of their own using all the covert-warfare tools at their disposal, says a Special Forces veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"You really have to take the gloves off of the special operations and let them stop the [Islamic State's] momentum," Scott Neil, who deployed to Afghanistan shortly after 9/11, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Friday.

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Neil, director of strategic development at the Green Beret Foundation, said that the first U.S. troops returning to Iraq and conducting operations in areas held by the Islamic State, or ISIS, are special forces, but that their role right now is limited to "small measures."

Neil said that bolder attacks are necessary to weaken ISIS and to undercut their image as "powerful and mighty" — a reputation that Neil said was unearned and would not survive a "knuckle to knuckle" encounter.

"Actually, they're wimps and they don't fight very well,' he said of ISIS. "When you're shooting at unarmed civilians, you look tough."

But Neil said the work of creating a working military alliance with local forces also has to be done — and re-done in Iraq — so that Special Forces teams know who their comrades-in-arms really are.

"We've lost such an intelligence [asset] after we departed Iraq," he said. "We really cannot tell who's friend or foe. When Special Forces usually partners with another force, at least they have a common goal together. Right now, you can't tell that with some of the rebels you're siding with."

He said that President Barack Obama and his advisers appear "dazed and confused" about how to tackle ISIS, with contradictory signals coming from various officials — civilian and military — about the likelihood, or not, of larger combat troop deployments back to the Middle East.

What's clear to Neil is that U.S. Special Forces have the capacity to hit ISIS very hard — "meet them at their level," and without committing the war crimes and atrocities that are ISIS's signature.

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The U.S. should send Special Forces into Syria and Iraq not just to assist regional efforts to wipe out the Islamic State, but to lead strikes of their own using all the covert-warfare tools at their disposal, says a Special Forces veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
special, forces, ground, troops
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2014-28-19
Friday, 19 Sep 2014 08:28 PM
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