Iraqi forces are likely to retake the city of Ramadi from Islamic State (ISIS) forces, but will have a tougher time winning back the confidence of the Sunnis living in the region, retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal says.
"ISIS demonstrated the ability to rally a larger force and do it very rapidly," McChrystal said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
"We have a much more fundamental challenge of rebuilding the resolve and the confidence of the Iraqi forces."
ISIS took over the city on May 17 even though it was heavily outnumbered. A series of truck bombs, some as strong as the one in the Oklahoma City blast, coupled with a social media blackout, are credited with forcing Iraqi forces to retreat.
McChrystal said the U.S. is mistakenly viewing ISIS as traditional foe that lines up on the battlefield.
"In reality, I view ISIS as a symptom, not the problem," he said. "The real problem is this meltdown in the region that lets an organization that is really as obnoxious in their doctrine and behavior as ISIS is."
The U.S.-led coalition should look at what is allowing ISIS to grow and the methods it is using to propagate itself, McChrystal said.
"I do think we are taking an approach that says maybe if we bomb enough or do enough commando raids or give enough weapons to our allies, that will solve the problem. I think it's a bit more complex," he said.
America thinks it has the technological edge because it has aircraft and precision weapons, but in reality ISIS is leveraging technology effectively, McChrystal said.
"They are terrifying the region. People believe that ISIS is behind every door and under every bed," he said. "They are not a traditionally hierarchical kind of force that needs the traditional chain of command. They are just able to move quickly, and we should take some lessons from that."
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