Tags: Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | General Wesley Clark | Obama | ISIS | war

Gen. Wesley Clark: Must Know Outcome When Entering War

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 11:52 AM

As President Barack Obama continues to develop a strategy for the war with the Islamic State (ISIS), Gen. Wesley Clark said a country must know the outcome before entering a war.

Obama's strategy has been to develop a coalition of countries to combat the Islamic State, employ limited airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria, and arm Kurdish forces and Syrian opposition fighters. Clark told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday that a problem for the U.S. was the uncertainty about who comprised the Syrian opposition.

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"You never go into a war unless you know what the outcome is. The problem in Syria from the beginning is that the Syrian opposition hasn't really had the political structure and stature to direct the military operation.

"When you put the weapons into the Syrian opposition, you didn't know who they were going to or what they were going to be used for. That's still a problem, and it's still a problem when the president is using military force there. Who are you helping?" Clark, a retired four-star Army general and former Democratic presidential candidate, said Wednesday.

The war with the Islamic State was just part of a broader strategy Obama should develop "that pulls together the country," and the president should not continue to base foreign policies on reactions to events, Clark said.

"When I say don't wait for the next war, this is the American pattern in foreign policy going back to a century ago. We always wait until the last minute. Then the politicking stops and we come together," he said.

Clark suggested a strategy that managed known issues, including "terrorism, cybersecurity, financial systems, climate change, the ascent of China," and growing the economy, and then handling crises as they arose, such as the current battle with ISIS.

"I think the whole political system is part of the issue right now. I think people are going to be asking questions," he said.

Clark has written a book, "Don't Wait for the Next War: A Strategy for American Growth and Global Leadership," that details the need for a new plan for the U.S. that blends power and perspective.

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As President Barack Obama continues to develop a strategy for the war with the Islamic State (ISIS), Gen. Wesley Clark said a country must know the outcome before entering a war.
General Wesley Clark, Obama, ISIS, war, outcome
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2014-52-08
Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 11:52 AM
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