An Air Force general with 35 years in uniform has gone on record criticizing President Obama’s response to the growth of ISIS in numbers and strength, calling for the president to “admit that the U.S. currently has no strategy.

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney began his military career as a combat pilot in Vietnam, served as a vice commander in Europe and eventually was the assistant vice chief of staff, the number three-man in the Air Force.

He says although ISIS can be defeated, it will require more commitment and will from President Obama, which have been sorely lacking to date.

“I don’t understand what the president’s strategy is. I don’t know what the president’s purpose is. He just has not exhibited any desire to take ISIS out.”

The air combat veteran and Air Force commander applied his knowledge and experience in addressing both what is missing with the ongoing and unsuccessful air campaign and outlining the specific steps that the president must take to defeat ISIS.

General McInerney said an “exponentially more robust air campaign” that is not restrained by unreasonable rules of engagement, along with Arab ground forces are needed to successfully defeat the radical Islamist terror group.

As someone who was at the highest level of decision-making in the U.S. Air Force, McInerney contrasted the current air campaign over ISIS-controlled territory with the successful U.S. strategy in the Gulf War in 1991. “Desert Storm was 600,000 troops against Saddam Hussein’s forces. We had a 43-day air campaign and a 100-hour ground campaign.”

“I think the air campaign is not nearly the intensity we needed. It’s not even an air campaign. It’s somewhere between seven and 15 sorties a day when we absolutely need upward of 100-200 sorties a day. I’m calling for 200. We need to be attacking the ISIS capital of Raqqa (Syria) 24/7. We need to close the highway between Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq.”

Obama finally began an air campaign against ISIS following ISIS’s release of videos showing the beheadings of American journalists, but McInerney said the policy adopted by the administration put the emphasis on degrading the power of the terrorist, rather than expressing the ultimate goal – that of defeating ISIS.

“We are not trying to destroy ISIS. The president talks about degrade and destroy. No American president in our history has ever said degrade the enemy and then destroy them. It’s always destroy them.”

Following the recent terror attacks in Paris, the general said that one of the major flaws in U.S. strategy as developed by President Obama was an unwillingness to accept that radical Islamism is not a religion like any other.

“Let’s get serious on this. The president has elected not to get serious. The Pentagon wants to do this, but the White House is holding back.”



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