Former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge has called on US President Barack Obama to put his commander-in-chief hat on, criticizing his administration’s strategy for fighting the ISIL terrorists in the Middle East.
He said on Sunday that Obama is bungling the fight against global terrorism.
“Mr. President, you need to put your commander-in-chief hat on,” Ridge said. “I want my president to lead, not just talk about it.”
“I’d like to think there’s a common interest in eliminating ISIL given how barbarous they are and how much chaos they have caused in the region regardless of whether you’re Sunni or Shia,” Ridge added.
“Airstrikes are not going to get it done,” he said. “It’s a whack-a-mole strategy. They need to be degraded and destroyed.”
Recent setbacks in Iraq and Syria have raised serious doubts about Obama’s ISIL strategy months after he announced an open-ended military air campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the ISIL forces by enlisting the support of scores of allies.
US fighter jets have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq since last August. Since September 23, 2014, the US and some of its allies have also been conducting airstrikes inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Apart from that, Washington has already dispatched thousands of troops to Iraq to help train and advise Iraqi forces in their fight against the terrorists.
Last month, Obama acknowledged that the United States and its allies do not have a “complete strategy” in pushing back ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
“We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well about how that recruitment takes place, how that training takes place,” Obama said during concluding remarks at the G7 summit in Germany in June.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists were initially trained by the Central Intelligence Agency in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.