Robert Gates: No simple solutions to how we degrade and destroy ISIS

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the 2016 presidential race and the fight against ISIS.

Robert Gates: Carpet Bombing Won't Eliminate ISIS

Business Leaders FOXBusiness

When it comes to the GOP candidates’ solutions to defeating ISIS, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says, “simplistic answers” aren’t cutting it.

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“I think we’ve not phased as many different kind of challenges simultaneously in a very long time as we are looking at now --  whether it’s the whole Middle East, as you say, North Korea, Russia, China and Iran,” he said during an interview with the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.  

 “I think most rhetoric about carpet bombing, about making the sand glow, about bombing them to death and so on is frankly just unrealistic. It’s not going to accomplish the military objective -- it takes no account of civilian casualties. It’s a simplistic answer to what’s a complex and long term problem,” he added.

Although Gates credits the Obama administration for taking steps to deal with ISIS and some of the world problems, he says the gradual measures should have been taken sooner.

“We’ve slowly and I think on the part of the administration, reluctantly begun to do things we should have been doing a number of months ago in terms of increasing numbers of special operation forces on the ground, helping the Iraqi security forces, advising them, and training them.”

He also said the U.S. should provide weapons directly to Sunnis and the Kurds and intensify air campaigns to be more aggressive in defeating terrorism.   

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“The idea on carpet bombing and so on is just not going to solve the problem… Even though ISIS has lost some territory, maybe a third of its territory over the last year or so, as you alluded to, we are seeing ISIS activity in Libya, and in other places around the world. Not to mention, their efforts to try and recruit operatives in the United States, in Western Europe and elsewhere, [and] to carry out, if you will, lone wolf attacks that put everyone on edge and give everyone a sense of insecurity.”

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