The U.S. military may be stopping the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or Daesh) physically, but must also stop the perception that ISIS is winning, says Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former head of joint operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Martha Raddatz, hosting ABC's "This Week"
from the joint operations base in an undisclosed Persian Gulf Nation asked Lt. Gen. James Terry, head of Operation Inherent Resolve, in a pre-taped interview if he thinks ISIS is being beaten.
When Terry replied, "I do," Raddatz responded, "It doesn't look that way."
McChrystal, appearing live after the Terry interview, said he doesn't doubt Terry's assertion that ISIS is being halted, but added that it is just as important to halt the spread of ISIS "in people's minds."
"What ISIS has done is convince people around the world, but particularly in the region, that they're unstoppable and they're everywhere," he said.
That's why it is vital to build a unified team against ISIS, McChrystal said. "Until we sense that, then I think ISIS is going to have the ability to go against what they see as a fragmented set of opposing forces."
While killing the organization's top leaders, including Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is important to undermining the group's confidence, those leaders can be replaced, McChrystal said.
"You have to destroy the fabric of their organization, their ability to communicate," he said. " That's a little bit more intangible and takes a wider, more holistic effort."
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