Robert Gates: Obama’s Goal to Destroy ISIS is Unrealistic

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( — February 3, 2015)  — Since Bush’s Administration declared war on terror after 9/11, 14 years ago, terrorism seems to be more prevalent than ever. The Obama administration continued war against terrorists only to realize the bunch of Islam fundamentalists grew to an army with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of the fight against Islamic State, former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has argued that small teams of special forces will be needed on the ground in Iraq and Syria to assist with airstrikes.

“The president has set an ambitious and, I think under current circumstances, an unrealistic goal when he talks about our intent being to destroy ISIS,” Gates said. “With the means he has approved so far, I think that’s an unattainable objective,” Gates told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

A “re-invasion of Iraq with large ground forces is a false set of options,” he said. Gates emphasized that only Special Forces on the ground with assistance of the airstrikes will be needed in Iraq and Syria to win against IS.

The former Pentagon chief said any military strategy against IS that involves a “re-invasion of Iraq” with large ground troops is a “false set of options.” The small special teams would be much effective and less of a problem for Syria to accept.

A plan with full-scale troops would further increase the Syrian government’s objections – and suspicions – of American forces carrying out military operations on its territory, even if IS appears to be a serious enemy of Damascus as well.

According to Russia Today, Syrian President Bashar Assad has expressed harsh criticism of US airstrikes on the territory of his country, which has been wracked by a years-long civil war.

“I think a different kind of strategy, in terms of how do we contain them, and how do we limit their ability to carry out these attacks and these atrocities, and occupy territory,” Gates told NBC.

“Our objectives should be to deny them the ability to hang on to territory, because that gives them a base from which potentially plot against us and against Western Europe,” Gates concluded.