Tags: Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | Syria | Gen. Russel L. Honoré | ISIS | Islamic State

Lt. Gen. Honoré: US Fighting ISIS with One Arm Tied

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 02:20 PM

The Army general credited with restoring order after Hurricane Katrina says that in another very active crisis zone — the Middle East territories conquered by the Islamic State (ISIS) — the United States needs to go "on the offense" in order to rid the world of "this collective evil."

"We've got to do more than just defend against ISIS," retired Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Wednesday, using a couple of pithy sports analogies to critique the U.S.-led campaign.

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"I think we've got to stop punching with one arm," said Honoré, who served as commanding general of the U.S. First Army at Fort Gillem, Ga.

Going on offense and boxing with both hands means attacking the Islamic State by land, air, and sea, and in the cyber-sphere that the violent extremists have exploited through social media and barbaric execution videos, he said.

"We have yet to use that weapon in an offensive way," said Honoré, who served on the National Security Council's counterterrorism task force under President Bill Clinton.

The terrestrial fight will require more regional allies like Jordan and Egypt, more Western allies who've endured terrorist attacks — such as France — and more direct support to indigenous forces in Iraq and Syria, he said.

Honoré advocated a multinational mix of "intelligence, air power, artillery and on-the-ground advisers," the latter to enable precision weapons strikes against ISIS targets. He also said the West must fully arm the Kurdish fighters in Iraq and Syria, and back their offensives with Apache attack helicopters.

"There's a lot more we can do without sending in the 82nd Airborne," he said.

"From Day 1, my thought was we need to have continuous attacks on ISIS by land, air and sea 24/7," said Honoré. "And the bombs we drop in the course of a day, we need to be dropping that in a course of a couple hours, and put constant pressure on them."

As the atrocities committed by ISIS mount, with new reports of mass burnings and a black-market trade in human organs, Honoré said the terrorist group is making the case for its elimination.

"This should not be a hard diplomatic sell for the rest of the world," he said.

"I don't think we'll ever kill the idea of jihad as they see it, but we can take down a standing army running around a place like Iraq, having control of an oil refinery and having control of major water supply," said Honoré.

The Obama administration's role, he said, is to assemble and lead the military coalition that pushes ISIS out of Iraq and into Syria, "where we can contain them and totally destroy them, because they need to be destroyed as a formation."

Honoré also said not to overestimate ISIS. While the group is adept with social media, that's the only means its members have for communicating internationally, he said. ISIS doesn't have satellites, and even if its forces managed to get a few captured jets into the air they wouldn't last long in a dogfight, he said.

And they've united the civilized world in revulsion at their ritualistic killings, burnings and beheadings, he said.

"We need to publish every nasty thing they do," said Honoré. "And they might think they're smart, but many of the things they have done have alienated the world. They think they can instill fear by cutting people's heads off, but they're amateurs in that they're alienating the world against them."

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The Army general credited with restoring order after Hurricane Katrina says that in another very active crisis zone - the Middle East territories conquered by ISIS - the U.S. needs to go "on the offense" in order to rid the world of "this collective evil."
Gen. Russel L. Honoré, ISIS, Islamic State, air power
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2015-20-18
Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 02:20 PM
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