Tags: Emerging Threats | Exclusive Interviews | Homeland Security | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | MidPoint | Syria | War on Terrorism

Ex-CIA Agent on ISIS: Obama Must Admit Need for US Ground Troops

By    |   Monday, 15 Sep 2014 04:30 PM

President Barack Obama owes the American people, and everyone who will be called on to fight the Islamic State, a forthright declaration of the need for U.S. ground troops to take on the radical movement's armies in Syria and Iraq, a former CIA covert operations officer told Newsmax TV on Monday.

But the president's stated plan to step up airstrikes while ruling out other uses of U.S. military force does not inspire confidence in the fight ahead, Joshua Katz told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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"What we're seeing here is the president acting out of political necessity, not because he honestly believes that there is a threat here," said Katz, a partner with the Enright Group global strategic advisory firm and a former adviser to the House Homeland Security Committee.

Katz said Obama's speech on Wednesday about the U.S. campaign against ISIS contained an "eerie similarity" to cautious language that an earlier president, John F. Kennedy, used in early stages of Vietnam, where U.S. military involvement crept from an advisory role to all-out war.

To be anything but up-front about the necessity of U.S. ground forces leaves those who will do the fighting with no clear sense of mission, said Katz.

The Free Syrian Army — the rebel group fighting both ISIS and the government of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad — is not a legitimate stand-in for the U.S. military, he said.

"We heard the president talk about one of his pillars of this strategy is to help the Free Syrian Army," said Katz. "People like me have been saying for a while now there is really no such thing as the FSA. It is a paper project."

Meanwhile, he said, "the Islamist extremism in Syria is growing."

"They have vast numbers, and the only way we're going to be able to deal with this is to go to all-out war," said Katz, "to attack these people where they live, and not to only look at air power. Air power is one component. If we're going to use air power [only], we're going to fail. We need to bring to bear everything we have here to protect America."

"There is a way to defeat them if you use all the tools, again, within the U.S. government," said Katz. "If we're not willing to do that, we're not going to even be able to contain them."

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President Barack Obama owes the American people, and everyone who will be called on to fight the Islamic State, a forthright declaration of the need for U.S. ground troops to take on the radical movement's armies in Syria and Iraq, a former CIA covert operations officer told Newsmax TV on Monday.
Joshua Katz, CIA, ground, troops
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2014-30-15
Monday, 15 Sep 2014 04:30 PM
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