tv Defense News With Vago Muradian ABC November 22, 2015 11:00am-11:31am EST
wounded 300, downed to a russian jetliner and stage deadly bombings in iraq, egypt, and lebanon. after the deadliest attack on french s soil since one or, frae along with russia and ameri ca havave increased the pressure on isis. w worries grow a future attacks on u.s. soil, critics are chging the obama admiministration's strategy is n effective. here to discuss the war against isis, the administration strategy and the outlook for attacks in the united states are home and security experts rick nelson and a navveteran with cross match technology. melissa daon of the center for strategic aninternational studies and syria specialist mike -- of the atlantic council. thanks for joining us. for two years, we have been
hearing that isis is merely a local threat but many people are using a cancer reference, metastasze around the world are conducting attacks in afanistan. now we have attacks in eurorope, sewhere in the world. why this change in isis strategy and what are they trying to achieve? >> it is a pleasure to be here. objective has been building the caliphate in the borderlands of syria and iraq. althouough they contitinue to hd sizable territory they have been under pressure by the coalition over the last year. and , their strategy has begun to shift to support affiliates operating throughout the globe but primarily affiliate in afghanistan, libya, and in the sinai in egypt. and the global reach is now a ao increasing into europe, witness the recent tragic attack in paris. the purpose of this is twofold. there itcrease theheir
if, show these attacks to burnish their credentials as a formidable force. and a also to encourage recruits to join the cause. but it is also to disperse their efforts more globally since they are under pressure. vago: let me go to you, rick. you spent your career and unterterrorism. us about how serious the that is in the united states. everybody is interested whether or not the sort of attacks are going to be seen in the united states. rick: it is a threat to america from terrorism has been consistent through the years. itit is going to continue to beo for the foreseeable future. but the threat from isis presents is rely mostly focused on the region, mostly coerned in europe where we saw in paris and w we saw other cel. it is goingo be in africa. it is quite be very difficult for isis to exnd itsts reach
inside united states because of the end of the day what you do have in place in the u.s. is a vevery robust defense and law enforcement if a structure that we built over the e last 10 yea. isis needs to penetrate that. you. let me to go to ththere is a l that t has been made about the r rift between al qaeda and the isis guys. talk about whether this is a withoutce witith how -- a distinction. or something that could be exploited the alliance? >> that is a good question. it's primarily strategic and over methodology. how to achieve the aims of the groups. they agree that the most important goal in the ultimate goal is th establishment of the muslime caliphate. s global spread. from there on, how to get to ey point, that is where they differ. with isis their belief is that it starts actually byeclaring it over a piece of territory with resources and population. and building it from there on.
with al qaeda, the model is much more grassroots. building ideological support among the local population. and attacking t the west to draw into a confrontation with that population. isis does not care what the population thinks. it believes enough of themem can be co-opted and the rest can be coerced. vago: do you think the statistic difference in how you fight the two oups? >> yes, i dol i do notot think we can exoit the rift because they are equally bad. lieve al qaeda in syria have managed to embed itself within thensurgency in the local population that as long as the civil war is going on, going after them is going after e insurgency and harming the local population with isis, it is not the se thing. it has isis is not part of the insurgency. vago: washington has been leading the inteternatnal coalition now for more tn a year. to hera the administratio-- to hear the ministratiotelik, it has been -- to hear the
administration telik, it it h hs been worng. if it does have a strategy -- it is a confused strategy.. i wa to get yo take on does this administration ve a strategy? if it is not a good one, what are the things the administraon on to be doing? rick: the last three or four ars has been a series of half measures.. i am not sure if it is a strategy. it is an extraordinarily convoluted situation. you have iran, russia, hezbollah, al qaeda, isis, france, turkey. it is a very confusing situation. the saudis. to developing us -- so, developing a strategy is going to be challenging. ultimately, i think the strategy has to be protecting the united states of america. and then the second issue is how do protect u.s. strategicc interests? there are think elements of a strategy la play. and there is some good this
there that is worth preserving going forward. the coalition airstrikes have been critized, that we're not doing enough or they should be intensified. i've seen comparisonons to the gulf war. the first gulf war of 1991, that there were 48,000 airstrikes in that campaign and as of november, the has been 8000 strikes in syria and iraq. but the objectives and both of those campaigns were quite different. in 1991, we were trying to topple saddam husseiein's regim. in this case, we are balancing on a knife's edge of not antagonizing certain actors on the ground vis a vis assssad. we do not want to be in a war with him. on the other side, n needed to really hammer isisis. while there ist more that can be done on the air campaign side, i think we are doing a pretty good job. what is lacking is on the ground for side. anand that is really the difficu task ahead, given that at least
in syria there is no, our train and uip efforts are best suited to situations where we are working cooperatively with the government. vago: there were folks in the 1991 war who would tell you that thgoal was to take away backck from iraq as opposed to toppling saddam -- what you make of this strategy? it has a lot of moving parts to it. and there are conflicting agendas. but what is your take on it? >> i tnk the sort of application operational level, some things go ok. mismatchnk there is a between our goals, os, stated goals and what it is we are willing to do to a compass those. our stated goals started off a s degraded destroy isis. wonder whether we are in containmt or not. i think we are. the other gos is to bring about an end to the syrian conflict. stillfficially the goal of the unitedtates policy vago: where some of the talk
are headed to get some -- >> based on the sa debate. on the ground, we have things like a covert program torade and equip some insurgents against assasad. we have the e airstrikes against isis. now we have a campaign to work with tribal groups in the east and the kurds. they are logical, they are sound. the problem is that isis is a reflection of the problem of the civil war. it is part of the problem th the civil war. not a problem taken in isolation or because we do not want to do what it takes to solve the civil war, we are stuck in o hands are tied by that precondition for our agenda against i isis. we cannot win this way. rick: one of the tngs i thin is keyey to our strategy, we get lost in thconversation is europe. pressure under immense from the refugee crisis. they are party had seizuress internally. debtw with the greekek crisis. we are not going to be
succesessful without havg europe and fall the relations go back hundds of years. what is happening in europe righnow with these cells and the terrorism threat cocould pua lot of pressure on eure and make it a very challenging position as far as an ally in taking action. position as far as an ally in taking action. vago: that is w somehow it felt like everything was moving in slow motion. if i didn't react, things could have gotten messy in a hurry. i mean jusgot that sweet ride with a great rate from navy federal. i was not about to let anything happen to her. just looking outut for my wingman. he's still in training. open to the armed forces, the dod and their families.
we are back with more of our roundtable on syria. melissa, let me start with you. we were talking a minute ago about the solution and white rick -- why rick mentioned the importance of having europe engaged. there is always a ground component. united states and other countries had made clear that it should not be the united states. so, ultimately, do you need a coalition, islamic force that needs to go there with troops jordan,e from uae, from saududi arabia, where you have islamic nations paiciping in the solution to an islamic crisis? melissa: think that would be a far better option than sending western troops or u.s. troops into syria at this juncture, given the likely backlash against them that what feed the
rhetoric of isis. the question is, how to mobilize and sustain such a force, particularly since many of the gulf c countries in particular have prioritize the campaign in yemen over the last year over the campaign against isis, although they continue to be concerned about it. so, how you, given the strain of the yemen operation on many of our arab partners, would they be ablele to sustain an operation n syria? likely would be quite a bit of western help. vago: does 50 america special operators make any difference at all? >> i do not think this is aimed at solving the syrian problem. the 50 special operators aim to magnify the effect of the kurdish and arab forces in eastn and northern syria. i think it makes a slight difference in terms of the middle to enforce multiplier. i think it makes it easier for two mutually suspicious group'ss
to work together. i do not think it is nothing. it is not enough. but in principle it is sound. go: in terms of f the broader air force, what you think is necessary in terms of time -- trying to resolve thicrisis would having greater ground forces? >> the first ground forces are the ones on the ground and it is the syrian population. these are the most vested in kicking isis out. they have done welell before. not just kurds. early last year,r, they did a gd job of taking isisut of northern syria. they can you -- canno do it as long as they are fighting the regime. there cannot be a christian army and a muslim country. -- in a muslim country. vago: rick, talking about assad and more broadly in terms of the strategy, turkey that has its interest to attack the kurds, which other leading guys in this
fight, you have the russians who are trying to attack one of the most effective guys on the ground and then you have united states that essentially trying to not help anybody. as a result there are some people not being terribly effective in terms of juggling this. how do you get everybody around the table, andhat is the deal you have to strike, including about assad, because everybody says this does not succeed with assad being in the picture? rick: extraordinairreally complicated. the other aspect of this we have to take into account when you talk about a coalition army is the sunni-shia divide. vago: because iran is engaged. rickck: n ow you bring iran into play. isis came to being in the response to the shias in iraq. it is going to begin with the major powers, russia and the united states. most important the i would argue europe been involved in the solution. you cannot do it without the countries in the region.
this cannot be an international led effort that does not grow internally from that regional powers. vago: what should happen to assad? cleara: i think it is that he does not h have credibility with his people. so, i think he does neeto step down. but through a g gradual transition. the key questio though, is it just assad, or how much of his regime should go? we don't want to repeat the same mistake of iraq where we totally upended the institutions. at the same time, clearly, the the securitys of establishment and government have lost credibility with the people. so there is going to need to be someleansing at the top. >> look, i have my own opinion. about assad. at the end of the day, no major belligerent in this conflict on the ground or any of the regional backers are going to accept assad as part of the
solution to this problem. i do not think he should be transitioned o. his transition begins with being shunted out of power. not the entire regime. that would satisfy some people morally. but it probably with me to stay collapse, and a totalitarian government. you cacannot completely decapite it. thehe has no place in future of syria. this is a rational calculation. not my preference. vago: the old way that is going to happen if russia has the lead role. rick: russia is going to he to facilitate that. that is one of the areas where i think isis may have missed calculate by doubting that were-- downing theussian airliner. previously, russia could sit back and let it unfoldld and thk that stasis was ok. america was mired down. assad in power. russia has been drawn into it in a level that i do not think they were anticipating. vago: the deputy secretary of indicate that actually russia's involvement in
this could be quite positive in termof gaining leverage over assad. that, russia has really driven this solution forward, hasn't it? even though everyone had a cynical view of how russia, what russia's aims in this work. melissa: i think that it is still an open question in terms of whether u.s. and rsian interest are exactly aligned. i think that there may be some useful overlap in terms of russia i now engaged in the fight and they are realizing how difficult it is. and so, i thk they are looking for a way out. but that is going to involve also a diplomatic push probably. some greater coordination of military forces. but i think that russia has a more clear sense of what they want in syria. they may be willing for assad to go, but they'veave got their base for the mediterranean. they want to preserve. d i think the u.s. objective is still unclear.
vago: we are back with our roundtable. counterterrorism and homeland security rick nelson. melissa dalton of the center for certificate international studies, and the atlantic council. i want to start withth you. there are many o of those who sy that isis exist because e of active suprt originally from rkey, unofcial support from qataris thatand created a force that the time it s regarded as tough guys you can get a tough job done. some of that appears to have backfired. there are others who say that actually the bigger issue with terrorism, whether it is al qaeda or anything, is the se of extremism or extreme strains within islam. do all all o of these governmens
have to geget together in a much mo meaningfuway to boost the moderate forces in the faithas opposed to feeding space to the more radical voices? >> the macro qution about islam and the e general physical needsneral philosoph it to happen. some of the players in the region arere part of this probl. some can be part of the solution. but i, my fear is that this'll be conflated with what is happening the grounin any particular portion of the conflict in the c country wherea lot of locals are bulldozozed io this structure of isis. because of the constraints and nes of the war, and because of the terror and hopelessnesess. vago: they do not want to get shot. >> they want protection from criminals. i don't think that argument can be had in this war until this war is done. vago: what is the macro stregy that needs to be employed to
actually defeat in a global way this organization that has money, is organized, and is really, in som cases, better than al qaeda in terms of executing? rick: a couple factors. no terrorist organizatioion in history has operated as well as isis has done. we have to be more aggressive. and we have not been. they are freely operating to social media which is allowing them to recruit. we have to be stronger there. the second is -- displace persnel. serious.n that igreater than the population of israel or the size of sweden. -- 11 million syrians. they remain segregated in camps or inside countries, off in their own areas, those in the breeding grounds for extreremis. vago: melissa? melissa: this is a generational challenge for the world,ut primarily for our partners in
the reregion. and it is going to take a mobilization of governmnt resourcebut also community resources to address the roots violentgovernance and rhetoric that isis emanating frm me of these communities. it's incumbent upon the religious leaders to take the lead on that. u.s. counterterrorism rspective, we do not want to have another -- 2.0. but i think there is a need -- vago: is there any choice? don't you end up with it, whher you like it or not? melissa: i think there is a need for a long-term framewk for addrsing this allenge. and taking a harard look at the authororities s the united stats has to fight counterterrorism objectives. also to suort partners that are opoperating on the ground, t just s state-based actors but perhaps non-state, local grops thatat are fighting terrorist groups.
rick: jihad 2.0. 1.0 is not ov. hats is a continuation of has been going on for 15 years and it will continue to go for. litant terrorist activity is going be a threat to the united states. some people do not see it as an axis dental threat. -- an existential threat. vago: l let me ask yoyou quickl. nch prime minister did mention the danger of these groups getting chemical or biogical weapons. do you see that as being of legitimate problem? rick: moreso biological than chemical. it is most easily accessible, the most easiest to disseminate. it is something we should bee concerned with. we are not properly positione and our european partners are less well-positioned for this threat. melissa: isis has already used chemical weapons in syria. va: that is what you were going to say. in 30 seconds, what does syria look like or is humpty dumpty so
broken it is never going to be put back togogether again? ofi think the kind totalitarian centralize authority that was governing the entire country out of damascus, i think that is done. what is happened in syria is not just a civil war, this has gotten lost in the noise overr isis. when you engage people on the local level, you see how much the society has been transforme as it could look radically different than it did before the war. vago: thanks for joining us. on this week's money minute feature sponsored by navy crible frederick -- navy credit union. what we need to know before purchasing an annuity. reporter: annuities can be easy to understand. and they are great for providing steady income for the rest of your life. an annuity ijust a contract tween you and an i insurance company that promises to pay you guaranteed income when you retire based on your initial vestment. start making a lump sum
payment or multiplple paents over time. the insurance company invest the money and let it grow. so, wheyou are ready to retire, your earnings can be paid out monthly, quarterl yearly or in one lump sum. there are lots of annuities to choose from but the o main types are faixed and bearae -- gives you a minimum rate of return that never changes the tstter how the financial mar before. if theble is riskier but markets perform well, you have the potential to make more momoney. a variable depends on how much the markets fluctuate. like an ira, the money you contribute will be locked in and you'll be penalized if you withdraw before your 59 years olold. depending on your annuity, there are tax benefits available to be sure to talk to an advisor about sosome of those options. vago: thanks very much and we will see you next weekend if you have any financial questions, please e-mail me. coming up, m
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in integrated and long-range campaign to destroy a ruthless organized and well-funded group that has lost or inspired 50 terror attacks worldwide over the past year. this is a global problem that demand global action. nationton has led a 65 coalition against isis by the campaign hasas been hamstrung by an obama administration that has avoided hitting isis hard for fear that doing so assad.would help -- would help assad. only now hitting iol structures. -- -- oil structures. the u.s. administration must organize the worldwide fight against this insidious and growing threat. it must learn fromast mistakes in the fight against al qaeda as it uses every military intelligence, diplomatic, and economic tool at his disposal in the continuing fight. and it must work harder to convince its leading islamic allies like turkey, saudi arabia and others to stop their citizens from supporting exextremists and to-- do more to promote moderate voices.
thanks for watching. i'm vago muradian. visit at defense news.com for continual coverage of britain's strategic defense and security aftermath of the paris terror attacks. if you have comments about the show or r suggestions, please e-il me @vago@. defense newscom. i will be back next week at the same time. we hope you have a great week and a very happy thanksgiving. ♪
[music] >> dr. charles snley: as we prepare for our thanksgiving celebrations here in the united states, there is so much for us to be grateful for. but as we look at all that is happening in our world, we also realize that there is a great deal we should be praying about. the deadly assault by terrorists on helpless civilians in the city of paris was a deliberate planneattack. an act of cruelty that brought adversity of the worstind. the free world which was theut goal of the terrorists. but it is also sending a tidal wave of prayer and divine comfort on behalf of the victims and their families. this tragedy should awaken the people in our country and throughout the world, that we too are subject to such an atrocity. what, when, ere, and how are