Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said President Barack Obama’s stated goal of “destroying” ISIS is “ambitious” because “we’ve been at war with al Qaeda for 13 years, we haven’t destroyed it.”
Robert Gates argued the president will have to accept that there has to be some U.S. combat troops on the ground fighting ISIS saying, “What I believe and what I suspect most military people believe is that given the mission the president has assigned, which is degrade and destroy, that to be able to do that some small number of American advisers, trainers, special forces and spotters for air controllers are going to be in harm’s way.”
“But what the administration is trying to communicate is that we are not going to send battalions, we are not going to send brigades, but that there will have to be with the mission the president has assigned, some American boots on the ground and in harms way.”
“I think that destroying [ISIS] is a very ambitious mission. I think our goal ought to be pushing back out of Iraq, denying them a place where they can have a permanent foothold…I think destroying – we’ve been at war with al Qaeda for 13 years, we haven’t destroyed it,” he added.
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