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  • Top Army General Points Out The Fatal Flaw In Trump’s Big Iraq Strategy

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has a straightforward strategy to take down the Islamic State: move troops into the region, ‘take the oil,’ and give veterans a big cut of the revenue.

    As if this comes as a surprise: the Army’s top general disagrees.

    Trump kicked off the back-and-forth by saying in a television interview Tuesday that without a money source, ISIS “would start to wither, and they would collapse,” The Washington Post reports.

    “First thing we’re going to do with the money we get from oil is give it to the families of the military,” Sean Hannity said in an interview with Trump on Fox News.

    “Correct,” Trump responded. “We lost thousands of people in Iraq and we have people walking around without an arm, without a leg, and worse than that. Give them millions.”

    Outgoing Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno argued at a press conference Wednesday that previous attempts to use force in the Middle East without coordinating with local governments have failed miserably.

    “The problem we’ve had is we’ve had outcomes, but they’ve been only short-term outcomes because we haven’t properly looked at the political and economic side of it,” Odierno said during a final briefing. “It has got to be three that come together. And if you don’t do that, it will not solve the problem, and that is what I continue to look at.” In other words, military might alone is simply not enough, but Odierno stated that he would reconsider his position if ISIS were on the verge of a major attack.

    Trump’s point, though, drives right to the root of the problem: funding. The oil fields are a major source of revenue for ISIS, but the group also brings in funds through selling ancient antiquities and holding hostages in exchange for generous ransom payments.

    “You have to stop the money at the banking sources,” Trump said.

    Odierno has previously gone on record saying that even sending up to 150,000 U.S. troops to defeat ISIS would ultimately prove futile, since the main challenge lies not in beating back opposing forces with superior fire power, but in maintaining stability in the aftermath.

    “I could put 150,000 soldiers on the ground and defeat ISIS? Yes. But then what?” he told CBS This Morning in June. “A year later it would be right back to where we are today.” (RELATED: Sending 150,000 Troops To Iraq To Defeat ISIS Would Be Totally Futile, Army Chief Of Staff Says)

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

     

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