Fmr Obama Army Chief of Staff Odierno: Islamic State Is ‘Expanding,’ ‘I Don’t Know’ What US’ Strategy Is

On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno (Ret.) said that ISIS is “expanding” and he doesn’t know what the US’ overall foreign policy strategy is.

Odierno said the US is “Of course” using combat troops against ISIS. He added, “[T]he president, he understands that he doesn’t want to get us entangled with hundreds of thousands of troops deployed around the world again, and I understand that completely. But, we have to realize in order to stop this, we have to be aggressive in smaller numbers, work with other nations in order to solve these problems. This is becoming a global problem. It’s expanding, and that’s my concern.”

Odierno later stated that he doesn’t know what the US’ foreign policy strategy is, and that while the president is trying to “through coalition capabilities, solve problems, and diplomatic efforts first.” He doesn’t disagree with the characterization of some diplomats that the US doesn’t reach out.

Odierno further discussed countering ISIS by saying, “I’ve been encouraged by the fact that we’ve increased the number of people on the ground. I think we have continue to do that. I would still like us to be a bit more engaged inside of Syria. We’re starting to be. Because, you can’t let them have a safe haven anywhere, which allows them — the problem — what’s happening today is, the longer we allow them to hold ground in Syria and Iraq, it allows them to grow in popularity. And it can be just perception, but what that’s allowing now is allowing it to spread.”

He continued, “So, what I’d like to see is, continue to put numbers on the ground. That puts pressure on them. Continue to try to build coalitions with other nations to put pressure on them, and go after the money. You got to go after the money. Money drives everything.”

(h/t GOP War Room)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett