Adm. Stavridis: U.S. Can't 'Bomb Our Way to Success' Against ISIS
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis appeared on "Shepard Smith Reporting" today to share insight on the fight against ISIS in Iraq.
Stavridis refuted recent comments from Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, the man who is leading much of the battle against ISIS in Iraq, who said that U.S. airstrikes are erratic.
Stavridis said the airstrikes are actually ramping up and now stand at about 1,400 total. Although there is room to increase the quality and quantity of airstrikes, the air response has been quite good, he said.
"We are not going to be able to bomb our way to success in this campaign," Stavridis explained. "I think what we're going to need to do is put more U.S. troops on the ground, probably edging up north of 5,000, 6,000, 7,000."
Stavridis said that over time, the U.S. will need those forces on the ground to make the bombing campaign in Iraq more effective.
"We're going to need more than just the U.S. contingent here. It's really got to be an international coalition," he said, noting that Turkey and Jordan have significant ground troops that could contribute.
"The bulk of it has got to come form the Iraqi security forces, both the regular army troops in the south and the Peshmerga Kurdish forces in the north. Together, they've got probably 200,000 deployable troops. They need training, equipment. They need mentors, particularly those in the south," Stavridis said.
"I think we can find the boots on the ground other than U.S. troops to do this, but we've got to provide the 'stiffener' in the process."
Watch more above.