In a recent column retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden compared President Obama’s Air strikes-heavy plan against ISIS to “casual sex.”
Hayden, who is the former CIA and NSA director, argues that “the reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex: It seems to offer gratification but with very little commitment.”
“We need to be wary of a strategy that puts emphasis on air power and air power alone,” he wrote.
When asked by CNN host Jake Tapper to clarify his statement, Hayden doubled down on his remarks.
“First of all, I’m really in favor of using airpower,” Hayden explained. “But the president limited his commitment. He said an awful lot about things we will not do, including American ground forces.”
Hayden went on to explain the danger in Obama’s willingness to say what is politically beneficial, as oppose to the president sending a message of support to America’s allies and fear to her enemies.
Telling the American people there are “no boots on the ground,” is “almost a necessary mantra,” Hayden said. “Although,” he added, “we already have 1,500 pairs there right now.”
“But no boots on the ground may have been useful for the president domestically, but there are other audiences. Our allies and our enemies–they view that as limiting our commitment to this enterprise. And you’re reporting today, limited enthusiasm on the part of our allies to take up the role we said we would refuse to do. And other people read that as a lack of commitment, American power.”
Indeed, America’s allies, namely Britain and Germany, have not fully committed to Obama’s air strike campaign in Syria.
“Look, people don’t question American power. What people need to be convinced of is American will,” Hayden said.
On whether or not “we are inflaming the muslim world when we send more U.S. troops abroad into Muslim countries,” Hayden said America’s air strikes “will provide all the video the Muslim world will need” to inflame “some elements.”
But Hayden’s largest concern is Obama’s hesitancy to “give the forces the tools needed to do the job.”
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