Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | Turkey | United States | ISIS | Kobani

Adm. Stavridis: Turkey Has to Get 'Into the Game' in ISIS Fight

Image: Adm. Stavridis: Turkey Has to Get 'Into the Game' in ISIS Fight
Turkish Armed Forces dispatch tanks to the Turkish - Syrian border as clashes intensified with Islamic State militants and Kobani residents. (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 09:53 AM

The United States must pressure Turkey to get "into the game" in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS), Adm. James Stavridis told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Turkey, which is a member of NATO, has been reluctant to commit troops and resources to the effort against the Islamic militants by the U.S.-led coalition, even though the Islamic State forces posed a threat to the Syrian city of Kobani along their southern border.

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"We have got to get Turkey into the game," Stavridis, a retired Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, said Thursday. "We have to put more pressure on them . . . It's their border."

Turkey was "conflicted," he said, because they were "very focused on bringing down the [President Bashar] Assad regime" in Syria, and the U.S. needed to pressure the Turks to "get more focused on ISIS."

Stavridis said the U.S. was going to have to commit ground troops in order to "make Iraqi security forces effective" and to get the Kurdish "Peshmurga in the game," adding he hoped military leaders had told President Barack Obama the effort was "high risk" without the use of American forces.

"We're going to need to put U.S. boots on the ground there. Not 150,000, like at the peak in Iraq, but probably 10,000 to do the advising, the training, the mentoring," he said.
Stavridis claimed the U.S. could "still turn this thing" by engaging the Islamic State in a "three-front war" with the Peshmurga in the north, Iraqi security forces in the south, and "bombing in the west."

While the U.S. could lead a campaign to destroy the Islamic State's "mechanisms for reaping destruction and terrorism," Stavridis said it would be more of a "long game" effort to destroy the ideology behind the militants' intent, adding he didn't believe that the U.S. was in a "war of ideas."

"We're in a marketplace of ideas. We've got good ideas. Democracy, freedom, liberty, freedom of speech, gender equality, racial equality," he said. "We've got to move that in the long term."

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The United States must pressure Turkey to get into the game in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS), Adm. James Stavridis told MSNBC's Morning Joe.
Turkey, United States, ISIS, Kobani
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2014-53-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 09:53 AM
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