Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle says the United States will be "partially responsible" if the bloodthirsty Islamic State (ISIS) extremists stage a massacre in Kobani.
"We will have failed to stop something that could've been stopped and in that sense, yes, we are partially responsible. Not only are we acting too little and too late, but we're using instruments that can't possibly succeed," Perle said Friday on the "Steve Malzberg Show" on Newmax TV.
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"Air power alone is not going to stop ISIS, not in the near term where ISIS is a military threat, and certainly not in the long-term where ISIS is an ideology that is gaining momentum. You don't destroy ideologies with air power."
His dire words came as at least 500 civilians were reported trapped in the Syrian Kurdish border town and will likely to be massacred if it falls to the Islamic State.
Perle, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, was asked about National Review editor Jonah Goldberg's remark that the Obama administration’s airstrike strategy to combat the Islamic State is a "glorified light show."
"It's not a glorified light show; it's simply a light show. There's nothing glorified about it," Perle said.
"It's a pathetic inaction which, I'm sorry to say, has been characteristic of the Obama term. He's only acted when absolutely driven to the wall and that’s likely to be the case here too, but he hasn't figured out that the wall is looming in front of him."
And with the Islamic State just eight miles from the city limits of Baghdad, Perle said a takeover by extremists would mean "the collapse of a decade-long enterprise in which many Americans died in order to rescue the country from Saddam Hussein."
He believes the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, which occurred under the Obama administration, was pure politics.
"The idea of a total withdrawal from Iraq when we were not taking losses, when things were getting stabilized was simply a campaign promise and 100 percent political," Perle said.
"There was no reason to withdraw that last contingent of Americans who were training, who were managing, who were advising and who were exerting influence over a government, that once we were gone managed to alienate practically everyone and make the ground fertile for the rise of this ISIS insurgency."
Perle has been critical of the Obama administration's response to the Islamic State's bloody, escalating campaign to establish a worldwide caliphate.
In August, he told Steve Malzberg
that the commander-in-chief's response to the execution of American journalist James Foley was "weak" and in keeping with his lackluster foreign policy.
"ISIS is more extreme than some of the other groups. ... We're in a new situation because ISIS, unless we're successful in stopping them, has gathered momentum," Perle said at the time.
"In the world of terrorism, appearing to be the strong horse is crucial. ... Unless we stop ISIS, it will continue to gain adherence. As it does, it will expand both its geographic reach and its recruitment, potentially even outside the Middle East."
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