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Former CIA dir.: No one can promise no boots on the ground

Former CIA dir.: No one can promise no boots on the ground


CRISIS IN SYRIA, THE DEBATE BEGINS. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY STUMBLED WHEN DISCUSSING THE POSSIBILITY OF BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN SYRIA. HE TWISTED HIMSELF INTO A PR PRETZEL WITH HYPOTHETICALS AND ENDED UP HERE.>>I KNOW THE ADMINISTRATION HAS ZERO INTENTION OF PUTTING TROOPS ON THE GROUND.>>I WANT TO BRICK IN TWO FORMER GENERALS TO TALK ABOUT THIS. ANTHONY ZINY AND MICHAEL HAYDEN. I’M ALSO JOINED AGAIN BY JIM SHUTO. GENERAL HAYDEN, WE HEARD SECRETARY KERRY THERE TALK ABOUT NO GENEVA CONVENTION. THEY HAVE NO INTENTION OF BOOTS ON THE GROUND. BUT YOU REALLY CAN’T PROMISE THAT WHEN YOU’RE ABOUT TO ENTER A MILITARY ENGAGEMENT, RIGHT?>>NO, AND YOU SHOULDN’T TRY TO PROMISE IT. I CAN IMAGINE CIRCUMSTANCE WHERE IS YOU MIGHT HAVE TO DO THAT. WHAT IF AN AIRCRAFT GOES DOWN? YOU PUT PEOPLE ON THE GROUND. THIS SHOWS THE DIFFICULTY OF TRYING TO CRAFT A LANGUAGE THAT SATISFIES EVERYONE. THERE IS JUST GOING TO HAVE TO BE FAITH AND CONFIDENCE BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AS CONGRESS. CONGRESS CAN’T THINK OF ALL THE POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCES THEY MIGHT WANT TO LIMIT THE PRESIDENT ONLY. AND THE PRESIDENT CAN’T LIVE WITH LIMITED FREEDOM OF ACTION WHEN HE PUTS AMERICANS INTO HARM WAY.>>GENERAL, GENERAL DEMPSEY, WE KNOW HE’S SKEPTICAL OF WHAT FORCE IN SYRIA CAN ACCOMPLISH. I WANT TO PLAY THIS EXCHANGE.>>THE ANSWER TO WHETHER I SUPPORT ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE MODERN OPPOSITION IS YES. AND THIS AUTHORIZATION WILL SUPPORT THOSE ACTIVITIES IN ADDITION TO RESPONDING TO THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.>>I DON’T KNOW HOW THE RESOLUTION WILL EVOLVE, BUT I SUPPORT — >>WHAT YOU’RE SEEKING, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU’RE SEEKING?>>I CAN’T ANSWER THAT.>>I CAN’T ANSWER THAT, WHAT WE’RE SEEKING. WAS HE JUST TRYING TO STAY IN HIS LANE? WAS HE FURTHER EXPRESSES SKEPTICISM? TRANSLATE THAT.>>HE’S TRYING TO NOT MAKE ANY GUARANTEES AS TO WHAT MILITARY ACTION CAN ACHIEVE. IT’S IN THE MIND OF THE LEADERSHIP OF THE ENEMY, WE’RE TRYING TO COMPEL THEM TO DO SOMETHING. IN THIS CASE, I THINK TWO THINGS. ONE, TO PREVENT HIM FROM FUTURE USE OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. BUT ALSO TO TRY TO CONVINCE HIM HE CAN’T WIN THIS ON THE BATTLEFIELD. I THOUGHT IT WAS INTERESTING WHAT SECRETARY KERRY SAID ABOUT THIS BEING REVOLVED AT GENEVA TWO. WHICH LED ME TO BELIEVE THAT THE STRATEGY HERE IS TO CONVINCE ASSAD HE CAN’T WIN AND TO CONVINCE THE RUSSIANS WE NEED THEIR SUPPORT, AND THERE IS A POSSIBLE DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION. I THINK GENERAL DEMPSEY IS BEING SMART TO ENSURE NO ONE THINKS HE CAN GUARANTEE A MILITARY ACT WILL ACHIEVE THESE KINDS OF OBJECTIVES.>>I WANT TO BRING IN JIM SHUTO NOW.>>IT SEEMED THE ADMINISTRATION HAS SOMETHING TO BE THE HAWKS AND THE DOVES, THE SKEPTICS AND SUPPORTERS. FOR THE HAWKS, THOSE PUSHES FOR MORE ACTION, HE TALKED ABOUT A BROADER STRATEGY, SUPPORT FOR THE OPPOSITION, EVEN CONNECTING IT TO THE GOAL OF REMOVING NOT WITH THIS PARTICULAR MILITARY ACTION BUT STILL REMOVING ASSAD FROM POWER. THAT IS A DIFFICULT NEEDLE TO THREAD. WE SAW THE DIFFICULTY WITH BOOTS ON THE GROUND. CAN THE ADMINISTRATION THREAD THAT NEEDLE?>>IT’S GOING TO BE VERY HARD. THE ADMINISTRATION ARTICULATED WHAT SIT THEY WANT TO DO, FOR IT TO BE ABOUT CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND DETERRING AND DEGRADING THEIR USE. THAT MAY HAVE SOME MARGINAL IMPACT ON ASSAD’S OVERALL MILITARY POWER, BUT THERE’S NO ONE IN UNIFORM THAT WILL SUGGEST THIS IS GOING TO DRIVE HIM TO A NEW POLITICAL POSITION.>>THERE WAS ALSO THIS SENSE EXCHANGE BETWEEN SECRETARY KERRY AND SENATOR RAND PAUL ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT MILITARY ACTION SHOULD BE CALLED A WAR.>>YOU’VE GOT THREE PEOPLE HERE, JOHN McCAIN WHO HAS BEEN TO WAR, BUT NOT ONE OF US WHO DOESN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT GOING TO WAR MEAN, AND WE DON’T WANT TO GO TO WAR. I JUST DON’T CONSIDER THAT GOING TO WAR IN THE CLASSIC SENSE OF COMING TO CONGRESS AND ASKING FOR A DECLARATION OF WAR, AND TRAINING TROOPS AND SENDING PEOPLE ABROAD AND PUTTING YOUNG AMERICANS IN HARM’S WAY. THAT’S NOT WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS ASKING FOR. GENERAL, DO YOU WANT TO SPEAK AT ALL TO THAT?>>NO, NOT REALLY, SECRETARY. THANK YOU FOR OFFERING.>>GENERAL DEMPSEY AGAIN, WITH A LITTLE RELUCTANCE TO PLAY IN THE POLITICAL REALM OF THIS. BUT IS SECRETARY KERRY RIGHT, IS THIS NOT WAR?>>IT’S A RELATIVE TERM, BUT MAKING A POLITICAL DECISION ON A RELATIVELY SIGNIFICANT SCALE, TO KILL PEOPLE AND BREAK THINGS IN ONE ELSE’S COUNTRY, THAT SOUNDS LIKE WAR. THE LAWS OF ARMED CONFLICT WILL APPLY TO WHAT IT IS WE DO HERE.>>JIM, VERY QUICKLY.>>JUST FOR GENERAL ZINY, THE ADMINISTRATION MADE THE CLAIM A DELAY DOES NOT MATTER FOR THE MILITARY EFFECTIVENESS OF THE STRIKE. GENERAL, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT?>>I DO. I THINK THERE’S PLENTY OF TARGETS THAT WE CAN SERVICE THERE. MANY OF THEM ARE FIXED. HE DOESN’T HAVE ROBUST, REDUNDANT SYSTEMS. HE CAN MOVE A FEW THINGS AROUND. BUT REMEMBER, HE’S ALSO IN A WAR HIMSELF. HE DOESN’T HAVE IN OPTIONS AND THAT MUCH FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT. AND THE INTENSITY OF OUR INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION ALLOWS US TO DO THIS CONTINUOUS TARGETING. SO I DO THINK GENERAL DEMPSEY IS RIGHT ON THIS. I MIGHT ADD ON THAT LAST QUESTION ABOUT WAR. WHEN YOU ATTACK A SOVEREIGN NATION, THAT’S AN ACT OF WAR. WE HAVEN’T DECLA


Reader Comments

  1. Hayden is the definition of a terrorist. His livelihood is directly related to terrorism. His company only makes money if terrorist are successful. He's a traitor/terrorist.

  2. Says no boots on ground so their allowed to go to a war where….They had always intended to have boots on the ground. HAHA, no way any promises are gonna be made if I fuckin intended to put boots down there all along!

  3. One needs not go far into American history, to find a similar situation, when there was "conclusive" military intelligence; in which there needed to be direct course of action taken to eliminate a target that supposedly posed an "imminent" threat. A factory in Khartoum was reported to have been proliferating armaments, as a response In 1998 Pres. Bill Clinton authorized a missile strike on what was in reality a pharmaceutical plant that manufactured Aspirin. Let's not make the same blunder!

  4. There were troops in libya guiding missile strikes. Who else was painting targets and giving intel? We already have troops there. We put 30,000 more troops back into iraq a year ago to watch the border. We have been preparing for this for a while.

  5. Your lack of a sincere response indicates, that you have conceded to your arousal for Syrian-intervention is absolutely baseless. You don't have any empathy for those people what so ever, you'd just like to see the fireworks from the missile bombardments incinerating other peoples homes; and the already displaced you haven't given a thought too either I bet. I'll debate you on the logic of intervening militarily at any time; but you apathetic types who think life is dispensable are repulsive!

  6. This whole conflict seems identical to what happened in Libya. Why don't we respond the same we did then? Some asshole is in power, locals want him out, we send in a few attack aircraft and Tomohawk missiles, rebels win, everybody's happy.

  7. We are walking into a quagmire. Too many thing can go wrong. Syria could respond by launching missiles at Israel, then Israel retaliates and Iran launches missiles at Israel, the war spills over into Jordan through a mass exodus of refugees into Jordan. My humble suggestion would be #1 form a land/marine blockade around the territory. Nothing gets in, nothing gets out. Send cruise liners, Red Cross ships from every NATA and Arab country to support refugees. Wait it out.

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