Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | Turkey | ISIS | airstrikes

Ex-Gen. Hayden: Turkey an Inconsistent Ally in ISIS Fight

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 11:12 AM

Turkey is a reliably inconsistent U.S. ally with a different view than America about who poses the biggest threat in the Middle East, retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden said Wednesday during an appearance "America’s Forum."

Hayden and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson were on the Newsmax TV show to discuss the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS).

"It's wrong and harmful for Turkey that they view the problems in the region right now in this order: the Kurds, Assad and then ISIS," Hayden said. "We don't have that order. We're putting ISIS at the top and so the Turks are marching forward based upon that list of priorities, which is misplaced."

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Johnson said the United States has to walk a "fine line" between leading too much or too little.

"It is going to be difficult because it is so complex," Johnson said. "Here is the real conundrum for the administration, which I understand. If we lead too much, Arab states are going to sit back and say America will take care of this problem for them. If we don't lead enough, they'll also sit on their hands and say, if we're not going to do anything they can't do anything either.

"Right now we're not leading enough and the air campaigns have limited the effect. Unfortunately, this air campaign is not even containing ISIS, much less beginning the degrading process."

A recent poll showing that a plurality of Americans believe ground troops will be necessary to defeat ISIS suggests that "the American people have some wisdom," according to Hayden.

"No one is calling for large American maneuver units on the ground in Syria or Iraq, but we're operating under very artificial restrictions," he said. "We need forces on the ground in directing our aircrafts to the highest priority targets.

"If we're going to retake Mosul, which we really have to before this is over, we're going to have to have some American units in there stiffening the Iraqi forces."

Johnson pointed out what was needed to defeat al-Qaida in Iraq, which was a far smaller force than ISIS.

"If you look at what we needed to defeat 6,000 to 8,000 members of al-Qaida in Iraq, 100,000 Sunnis working with over 100,000 Iraqi security forces and 160,000 American military personnel, that's what it took to defeat 6,000 to 8,000."

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Turkey is a reliably inconsistent U.S. ally with a different view than America about who poses the biggest threat in the Middle East, retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden said Wednesday on "America's Forum."
Turkey, ISIS, airstrikes, al-Qaida
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2014-12-15
Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 11:12 AM
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