Tags: Iraq | Russia | War on Terrorism | Robert Gates | military | goals | Iraq

Robert Gates: US Has Unrealistic Goals on ISIS, Russia

By    |   Sunday, 01 February 2015 12:54 PM

Though the United States and its allies have made steps to control the Islamic State (ISIS), they are not winning the battle against the terrorist group, partly because they have set unrealistic goals, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday on "Meet the Press."

Still, he said, ISIS has reached to natural limits of having anyone sympathetic to their cause, which has chiefly been the Sunnis in northern and western Iraq.

Airstrikes have contributed to containing ISIS, but the United States is a long way from pushing them out of Iraq, Gates said.

Gates has previously said ISIS cannot be defeated without ground troops, but he stressed he isn't talking about another large-scale operation.

"And I think that the president has set an ambitious and I think under current circumstances unrealistic goal when he talks about our intent being to destroy ISIS," Gates said. "With the means that he has approved so far, I think that's an unattainable objective."

The strategy, he said, should be to figure out how to deny them territory from which to have a base of operation to hit the United States or Western Europe.

The entire state system seems to be dismantling in the Middle East, and the area is returning to tribalism, he said.

Gates said the Obama administration also seems to have no clear strategy on Russia, which is in collapse amid Western sanctions and plunging oil prices. President Vladimir Putin has used the crisis to his advantage to push Russians toward nationalism as he claims the West is trying to rid Russia of its nuclear weapons.

"And so the question is, does this boil down to Ukraine? And is Ukraine the crux of our major differences with Russia and what is the kind of outcome we want in Ukraine?" Gates added. "This is another area where I feel like we're dealing with the situation day to day, but we don't have a broader strategy in terms of what we want out of the Russians."


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Though the United States and its allies have made steps to control the Islamic State (ISIS), they are not winning the battle against the terrorist group, partly because they have set unrealistic goals, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday on Meet the Press. ...
Robert Gates, military, goals, Iraq, ISIS, defense, strategy
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2015-54-01
Sunday, 01 February 2015 12:54 PM
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