Tags: Michael Koolidge | Iraq veteran | boots on the ground

Iraq Veteran: Boots on the Ground Doesn't Mean 100,000 Pairs

By    |   Friday, 26 Sep 2014 07:07 AM

The hand-wringing over whether to put "boots on the ground" — and whose, and how many — against the Islamic State (ISIS) is equal parts war fatigue, Iraq phobia and ignorance about modern-day combat, radio host and Iraq War U.S. Army veteran Michael Koolidge told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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Koolidge said that, yes, at some point, some U.S. troops will have to do what airstrikes alone cannot, especially when an enemy force such as the Islamic State, or ISIS, flees bombardment from above by melting into densely populated urban areas.

But he described the concept of "boots" as more varied and multifaceted than platoons marching in alongside tanks.

"In order to have any sort of effectiveness, you do have to have CIA operatives, Special Forces operatives — maybe not in uniform, but physically on the ground," he said.

He also said not to underestimate what the U.S. military can do in the aerial phase of a campaign.

'This term 'surgical strike' gets used a lot," he said, but added, "We have the ability to do that. We have the ability to hit guys from the air in specific parts of a building, let alone just a building."

The question, he said, is, "What happens after that? What happens when the ones that survive scurry around? Are they just going to go to another building? Are they going to go underground where we can't get them? That's where you need some significant ground forces."

However the war is conducted, he said, it needs to be viewed in its own right and not as a sequel to the long, costly involvement in Iraq that President Barack Obama promised to end.

"It's an old thing in Army terminology: 'We're always fighting the last war,' " said Koolidge. "But in this debate in America, we're having the last debate.

"We're still in this debate about the Iraq war — whether it was right or wrong," he said. "The premise that the president always starts with is … he isn't going to make those mistakes that his predecessor made. He needs to get over that; that's the past."

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The hand-wringing over whether to put boots on the ground - and whose, and how many - against the Islamic State (ISIS) is equal parts war fatigue, Iraq phobia and ignorance about modern-day combat, radio host and Iraq War U.S. Army veteran Michael Koolidge told "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV.
Michael Koolidge, Iraq veteran, boots on the ground
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2014-07-26
Friday, 26 Sep 2014 07:07 AM
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