Henry Kissinger says that ISIS (or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) should have been bombed “hard” by the United States already.
The former Secretary of State during the administration of President Richard Nixon has made the statement on at least two different occasions in recent days, most recently during a televised appearance on CBS News program “Face the Nation.”
In a transcript of the interview posted to Mediaite, Kissinger spelled out what he thinks the U.S. should have already done to ISIS, which has taken over several Iraqi cities and has claimed responsibility for the televised beheading of at least two American journalists.
“When an American is murdered on television, for the purpose of terrorizing Americans, there should be a response that you would not analyze in terms of a normal response to provocation…. Something has to crystallize out of this violence, and it won’t happen without our leadership. We cannot do it ourselves. But we can make clear that certain tactics will be strongly resistant.”
In an interview with National Public Radio promoting his latest book, “World Order,” Kissinger spelled out much the same for NPR’s Scott Simon.
“They have cut the throat of an American on television. This is an insult to the United States, which requires that we demonstrate that this is not an act that is free. I would strongly favor a strong attack on ISIS for a period that is related to the murder of the American.”
“Then, we have to go into the long-range problem. I think when we are dealing with a unit like ISIS, we should not get into a position where they can lead us by establishing ground forces. But we should set strategic objectives where we thwart any goal they set themselves, which we should be able to do by superior air power. And then, if we can enlist other countries, or other more local groups to do the ground fighting, we might actually destroy them.”
While there has been much back and forth among the talking heads in Washington about what to do with regard to the terror group, this is one of the most direct responses yet seen from a former American cabinet-level secretary.
Only time will tell whether Kissinger is right. After all, two years ago he said Israel would cease to be a nation and that looks no closer to happening today than it did two years ago.
[Images via getty and google]