Former Army Chief of Staff says We Need “Boots on the Ground” to Beat ISIS


President Obama and the Democrats keep arguing that we’ll never see American soldiers in Iraq again (or in Syria ever), but the military may not be in agreement with his assessment. Retired General Ray Odierno, former Army Chief of Staff, was on MSNBC earlier this week to argue that there was simply no way to defeat ISIS without American soldiers “on the ground.”

Retired General Ray Odierno: When we were successful in Iraq in 2007, ’08 and ’09, we cut the money off. We had the cooperation of the Sunni Arabs and everyone else. And by the way, I’ll just tell you, you know, the Muslim population is absolutely critical to this. I remind everybody that I would say 93 to 95 percent of all Muslims are moderate Muslims and we shouldn’t ever forget that. And we need them in order to be successful. 

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Mike Barnicle: A thousand special ops make a difference? 

Ret. Gen. Ray Odierno: I’ll let the people on the ground determine numbers. I think it’s probably around that range. But there comes a point where you might have to put — special ops can only do so much. So you might have to put some conventional force. But I’m not talking 20, 30, 40,000. I’m in the 1 to 2,000 range to get done, at least initially what we have to do.

While no American relishes this option, there must be a reality check at some point. If we want to “defeat” ISIS, we will need more than philosophical arguments and random fly-bys. The Obama administration has been pushing this method of “fighting” for seven years now, and the strategy has had the opposite of its intended effect. Today, worldwide Islamic extremism has grown stronger than ever, and the radical Muslim terrorists have expanded to their largest extent since the height of the Ottoman Empire.

The sad truth is, if we want to defeat ISIS, we may indeed need to go to war again.

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