Tags: Emerging Threats | Iran | ISIS/Islamic State | John Bolton | Islamic State | Iran | terrorists

John Bolton: If ISIS Indeed a Threat, Destroy It Quickly

By    |   Wednesday, 17 September 2014 09:16 AM

President Barack Obama's strategy for defeating the Islamic State (ISIS) is "incoherent," and if the insurgents are considered a threat, then they should be quickly destroyed, former Ambassador John Bolton said Tuesday.

"If you believe ISIS poses a mortal threat ... then your conclusion must be that our objective is to destroy it," Bolton told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren.

And if that is the case, "we should find a way to do it in the quickest possible time, with the minimum number of American and allies' casualties."

The longer the United States waits to take decisive action, Bolton said, the more ISIS will contain control of a larger area, and the ultimate cost will be much higher to the United States and its interests.

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"We've got multiple opponents in a complex struggle," said Bolton. But meanwhile, he does not believe the United States should "do anything to built up agents of Iran, like the [Bashar] Assad regime [in Syria] or the Baghdad government ... if we destroy ISIS, inevitably, their power will be enhanced."

Meanwhile, Bolton said that the threat to the United States is growing and must be addressed. But he said he believes it is a "huge mistake" to risk the safety of American troops by putting them in the "hands of others who have failed before, like the Iraqi army."

Doing so "will endanger us and cost us more in terms of American lives down the road," Bolton told Van Susteren. But meanwhile, he said, if there are people in the government who do not believe ISIS to be a threat to the United States, they should "stand up and say so."

Last week, Obama announced that he planned to dispatch nearly 500 more U.S. troops to advise and assist Iraqi security forces, as well as conduct intelligence and reconnaissance flights, bringing the total number of American forces sent there this summer to more than 1,500.

The president, in his prime-time address, also urged Congress anew to authorize a program to train and arm Syrian rebels who are fighting both the Islamic State militants and Syrian President Assad.

Bolton further said Tuesday that Assad should be left in place, as he is a "sideshow" and not the real issue in Syria.

"The real problem is the regime in Iran,” Bolton said. “The only solution is going to be regime change in Tehran. First we’ve got to deal with ISIS because it’s the threat in the near term.

"The long-term threat is a nuclear Iran, the world’s central bank of international terrorism.”

Bolton also said Obama has "no strategy to deal with Iran.

"His own director of national intelligence [James Clapper] said earlier this year the sanctions have failed to stop the Iranian — or even slow down — the Iranian nuclear weapons program," Bolton said.

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President Barack Obama's strategy for defeating the Islamic State (ISIS) is "incoherent," and if the insurgents are considered a threat, then they should be quickly destroyed, the former ambassador said Tuesday.
John Bolton, Islamic State, Iran, terrorists
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 09:16 AM
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