President Barack Obama's surprising admission
that his administration lacks a "complete strategy" to take on the Islamic State (ISIS) is "a little bit scary," suggesting Obama is using "rhetoric in place of action," former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden tells Newsmax TV.
In an interview with "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth on Monday, the retired Air Force general declared "a lot of folks are beginning to lose patience here."
"I get the part where you've got to get the Iraqis into your plan, but there are a lot more clear ways of saying that – 'We're going to have to synchronize our approach with the Iraqis, we're going to have to harmonize our approach with the Iraqis'," Hayden said.
"But to say we're still in search of a strategy… nine months into combat operations, that is a little bit scary."
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Hayden said the president's other comment – that the administration is "reviewing our plans" – was "also quite revealing."
"That suggests rhetoric in place of action," Hayden said. "That's what you say when you really don't want to get other things underway."
Hayden said the remarks had to be "very unsettling" to our partners in the Middle East especially.
"The G7, some of those nations are helping us, and that's a good thing, but what if you're a Jordanian, what if you're a Kurd, what if you're a Saudi or a Kuwaiti?" he asked. "What do those things mean to you? I figured that would be actually very unsettling to our friends."
The time is now for decisive action, he added.
"Some people … can be overly decisive, others can be overly reflective," Hayden said.
"We're at a point now where we might be admiring the problem a little bit too much and not getting along with solving it."
But Hayden did praise Obama for his tough stance
regarding sanctions on Russia during talks with G7 nations.
"He seemed to hold the line and to put some pressure on our European friends to hold the line as well so that is a modestly positive outcome to come out of the G7," Hayden said.
Though Hayden also hailed intelligence gains from a raid on ISIS last month in which, according to the New York Times,
American forces obtained laptops, cellphones more materials used by the militants, he warned against making too much of it public.
The raid, Hayden argued, "tells you the importance of capture operations…" that can lead "to so much enrichment of intelligence."
Yet, he said, "These are the kinds of things that your really want to keep close to the vest.
There isn't a whole lot of intelligence – certainly, operationally relevant intelligence – that I see value in making public."
He also decried the revelation last week that an ISIS militant taking a "selfie"
in front of a commander control center led to its quick destruction in a U.S. airstrike.
"I don't know what the operationally upside of revealing that was… why you would make that public?" he asked.
Discussing the loss
last weekend by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party of its majority in Parliament, Hayden called the situation "complicated," but a "very heartening outcome to the election."
"The Kurdish party got successful by identifying itself as more than a Kurdish party," he noted. "It brought in other elements of Turkish society so that's really good news."
"Over the past decade [Erdogan has given] voice to a voiceless part of the Turkish population – good on him for that," he said. "He's got a form of political Islam that didn't trend to fanaticism – good on him for that."
"[H]ere's the bad news," he added. "We're going to have a period of instability here as the Turks now work to organize a new government. Long term, it's good. Short term, we got some rough water. "
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