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Jeb: Obama Doesn’t Believe It’s a War Against the Islamic State; Thinks It’s a ‘Law Enforcement Exercise’

Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Republican presidential candidate former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) said it is clear after President Barack Obama’s Sunday Oval Office address on the threat of terrorism that he doesn’t view it as a war against ISIS, but instead as something on a lesser scale.

Host Joe Scarborough asked, “What about the program that the Intel community had where we could actually go out and capture terrorists and interrogate them and find out where the next attacks were coming. That’s been replaced by a program where you drop a drone on somebody’s home, kill their family, kill them and kill all actionable intelligence.”

Bush said, “We have put so many constraints not on on the intelligence community but the war fighters. This is a war, which I believe it, is we need to act accordingly. This president does not believe it a war. He believes it a law enforcement exercise. All of the policy memos he’s put in place and the intelligence restraints are making it harder for us to be successful in destroying ISIS. If that is the objective, we should declare war on ISIS. We are not.”

Scarborough interjected,  “Should we allow interrogation of terrorists and —”

Bush answered, “Of course we should. We also should have a no-fly zone in Syria. This is the problem of this presidency across the board. There is clearly a third way. He always uses the strawman argument and it’s why we have a weakened position as it relates to America as leadership in the world.”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski asked, “Your Republican counterparts have had some critiques to the president’s speech. What specifically would you add on to the strategy at this point, or say to help Americans fully understand that we have this covered?”

Bush said, “First of all, I would have used this opportunity, this speech, to be able to persuade people that we’re at war with Islamic radical terrorism and that at such we need to have a strategy and he needed persuade people that our fears will subside when we are engaged in the destruction of ISIS. Aggressively training the local forces, which he talked about but not with the intensity that’s necessary, directly harming the Kurdish forces in Iraq is another element of this. Reengaging with the Sunni tribal leaders. There is a renewed evident in — effort in that regard but it not as necessary. We need to engage diplomatically and politically across the board. But without a military plan, we’re in the going to get to the objective, which is to take out ISIS and restore stability to a region that desperately needs it.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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