Is President Obama doing too little or too much in Iraq?

Written by Fox News / Published August 10, 2014 / Fox News Sunday

Special Guests: Gen. Jack Keane, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., John Engler

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," August 10, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

President Obama says airstrikes in Iraq could go on for months. As he seeks to contain the threat from ISIS.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Earlier this week, when Iraq in the area cried to the world, "There's no one coming to help." Well, today, America is coming to help.

WALLACE: As the U.S. returns to the fight, we'll get the latest on what's happening.

Retired four star General Jack Keane breaks down the military operation.

And we'll discuss whether President Obama is doing too little or too much with Senators Lindsey Graham and Ben Cardin.

Plus, for a president who campaigned on getting out of Iraq, how big is this reversal of policy?

OBAMA: As commander-in-chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.

WALLACE: Our Sunday group weighs in on whether Mr. Obama can limit our involvement.

Then, American companies renounce their corporate citizenship to save big money in taxes.

The head of the Business Roundtable John Engler debates Senator Chris Coons on whether that's unpatriotic.

And our Power Player of the Week, Ivanka Trump, on taking the family empire to new heights.

IVANKA TRUMP, AMERICAN BUSINESSWOMAN: I represent the feminine voice of an otherwise more masculine brand.

WALLACE: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

President Obama says the campaign of air strikes and humanitarian airdrops he ordered this week is, quote, "a long-term project that could go on for months." But he maintains there are strict limits to our involvement in Iraq.

Today, we want to analyze the U.S. combat mission in depth. Retired four star General Jack Keane will lay out of the battlefield. We'll hear from two leading senators. But first, senior White House and foreign affairs correspondent Wendell Goler has the latest developments -- Wendell.

WENDELL GOLER, FOX NEWS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, the president says there are several objectives in the Iraq campaign and not all of them are under the control of the U.S. and its allies. The first is to defend the U.S. consulate in Irbil where there are several hundred Marines and to stop the attack on refugees from Sinjar Mountain. The U.S. has conducted a number of airstrikes on ISIS forces artillery pieces that have been firing at civilians.

Mr. Obama says the military is confident they can protect the refugees, but soon enough, and likely with the help of Iraqi and Kurdish forces, they'll have to form a corridor to get tens of thousands of refugees safely off the mountain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The next step, which is going to be complicated logistically, is how do we give safe passage for people down from the mountain and where can we ultimately relocate them so that they're safe? That's the kind of coordination that we need to do internationally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GOLER: The president spoke with the leaders of Germany, France, and Britain about joining the effort to deliver food and water to the trapped refugees, while probably not joining fighting. Meanwhile, he suggests though he doesn't so openly, Iraqi President Nouri al Maliki needs to give up his quest for another term. Mr. Obama claims Maliki's biased against Sunnis and Kurds for fueling the ISIS rebellion. He says Iraq has made progress naming a Kurdish parliament and a Sunni speaker of parliament, but it will need a government all Iraqis can buy into, to stop driving the Sunnis to join the ISIS forces to get them to help defeat them -- Chris.

WALLACE: Wendell Goler traveling with the president in Martha's Vineyard -- Wendell, thanks for that.

Joining us now at the map to break down the military situation in Iraq is retired four star Army general and Fox News military analyst, Jack Keane.

General, as you sit there, show us what ISIS' position is right now from -- in northern Iraq, from Mt. Sinjar in the west, to Mosul dam, all the way over to Irbil in the east.

GENERAL JACK KEANE, FORMER VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. ARMY: Yes, certainly.

Well, the red diagonal indicates ISIS. And you can see they dominate almost all of northern Iraq and they extend all the way over the Syrian border. What's in question is Mt. Sinjar. They absolutely control everything around that, all the routes leading to the Mosul dam up here in the north, and also extending all the way over to Kurdistan, and Irbil is in question and where the air strikes are supporting.

WALLACE: So, where are the U.S. airstrikes so far and what have they been able to accomplish?

KEANE: Sure, Friday night, the airstrikes went in here in the vicinity of Irbil to stop any potential assault on Irbil. They were targeting mortars, artillery, et cetera, and the last two airstrikes on Saturday and also today are taking place in the vicinity of Mt. Sinjar, for the same reason -- we're targeting ISIS capability on the ground, artillery, mortars, maneuver capability, truck convoys, et cetera.

WALLACE: But at this point, we're just taking out individual artillery pieces or convoys or mortars. I mean, this is not any kind of a concerted air campaign.

KEANE: Well, that's a critical point. This is a defensive airstrike campaign, largely designed to protect Irbil, U.S. presence at the -- certainly the refugees of Sinjar. It is not taking away ISIS' freedom or movement or its initiative.

So, you can understand, there are five attacks taking place as we speak right now by ISIS. They have total initiative and total freedom of movement. In Kirkuk, they're conducting two attacks north of Baghdad, which is here, 80 miles north of Tikrit in this area here, 20 miles north in Masad. They're also conducting an attack about 25 miles south of Baghdad, in Yusufiya, and they're attempting to seize the Haditha dam here in Anwar province, which is very important to them.

So, they have freedom of movement and they have the initiative, except in the area of Irbil and at Mt. Sinjar.

WALLACE: So just to button this up, are we rolling back ISIS or are we just containing them in very limited areas?

KEANE: We are containing them in very limited areas. To change the nature of this campaign, the president would have to change the orders to the military. That would mean offensive campaign design to destroy command and control, logistics and the mobi (ph) units. And the operation would change in terms of scale. It would then begin to attack ISIS in multiple locations at the same time.

WALLACE: We're not doing that now.

General Keane, thank you so much.

Now, let's get reaction to the new U.S. role in Iraq from two key senators. First, Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Senator, after President Obama declared his new policy of airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops, you sent out this tweet. Let's put it on the screen, "The actions announced tonight will not turn the tide of battle."

But President Obama says we can't do that. We can't roll back ISIS, take the offensive measures that General Keane was talking about until we get an inclusive government in Baghdad so all the factions in that country are joining in the fight.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C., ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Well, that's not accurate. When I look at the map that the General Keane described, I think of the United States. I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorist ability to operate in Syria and Iraq. The director of national security, the FBI director, the director of homeland security has said that the ISIS presence in Syria where hundreds of Americans and thousands of European fighters have gone, represents a direct threat to the United States, and now, their enclave in Iraq.

So, Mr. President, you have never once spoken directly to the American people about the threat we face from being attacked from Syria, now Iraq. What is your strategy to stop these people from attacking the homeland? They have expressed a desire to do so.

So, there's no political reconciliation in Baghdad going to protect the American homeland. That has to be a commander-in-chief with a strategy and a vision. This commander-in=chief has no strategy. He has no vision.

This is a situation where he knows better than everybody else. He was told he should get engaged in Syria three years ago by his national security team. He said no, his military commander said you should leave troops in Iraq as an insurance policy, and he got the no.

WALLACE: So, what do you think we're accomplishing with these very targeted, very limited airstrikes against, as I say, an individual artillery piece in Irbil who are a specific vehicle outside Mt. Sinjar?

GRAHAM: A bad news story. He's trying to avoid a bad news story on his watch. This is not a replacement for a strategy to deal with an existential threat to the homeland. To every member of Congress, you've been told by every major intelligence leader in our nation that we're threatened. The homeland is threatened by the presence of ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

To change that threat, we have to have a sustained air campaign in Syria and Iraq. We need to go on offense. There is no force within the Mideast that can neutralize or contain or destroy ISIS without at least American air power.

Mr. President, be honest with the American people about the threats we face to the members of congress who say stop -- what is your alternative if we stop to protecting the homeland?

WALLACE: But after getting all U.S. troops out of Iraq in 2011, the president made it very clear on Thursday when he announced it and yesterday before he went to Martha's Vineyard, we're not getting back into another war, another full-out campaign in Iraq. Take a look. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: As commander-in-chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. So, even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, there's no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: As commander-in-chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. So, even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, there's no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator Graham, are you saying we should go back to war in Iraq?

GRAHAM: I'm saying Iraq and Syria combined represent a direct threat to our homeland. The day the president raised his right hand to become president for a second time, his constitutional responsibility as commander-in-chief trumps any political promise.

What is going on in Washington when the FBI director, when the head of national intelligence, the CIA, the homeland security secretary tells every member of Congress, including the president, we're about to be attacked in a serious way because of the threat emanating from Syria and Iraq?

His responsibility as president is to defend this nation. If he does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL, whatever you want to call these guys, they are coming here. This is not just about Baghdad. This is not just about Syria. It is about our homeland.

And if we get attacked because he has no strategy to protect us, then he will have committed a blunder for the ages.

WALLACE: But, you know, President Obama likes to say what happens next? What happens the day after?

If we go into a full-fledged air campaign against ISIS, as you say, both in Iraq and in Syria, then we're in the middle of two civil wars in Iraq and in Syria. Do we really want to do that? Do we really want to go back full fledged into these two countries and we know how Iraq turned out. That wasn't so great.

GRAHAM: Do you really want to let America be attacked? You're having people on the ground slaughtering Christians. They have four goals: to make every Muslim bend to their will, to destroy the Christian population in the Mideast, to drive us out, and eventually destroy Israel. So, here's my statement to the president -- Mr. President, your own people are telling you we face an attack on this region. Your game plan, the actions you're taking, cannot protect us. There is no substitute for America being involved in terms of eradicating ISIS. If we don't hit them in Syria, you'll never solve the problem in Iraq.

Three years ago, Mr. President, you were told by your national security team, get involved, armed the rebels because this problem will grow. You said no.

You made many, many bad bets. Your strategy is failing. You told us bin Laden is dead, we're safe.

Since bin Laden has died, there are more terrorist organizations with more safe havens, with more money, with more weapons, and more capabilities to attack the homeland than there was before 9/11.

Mr. President, if you don't adjust your strategy, these people are coming here.

WALLACE: President Obama bristled Saturday when he was asked about the fact he pulled all U.S. troops out, and was that responsible for this threat of ISIS. He said, look, it was Iraq that didn't want to make the deal for a carry on a status of forces agreement. Take a look at what the president said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: That entire analysis is bogus and is wrong, but gets frequently pedaled around here by folks who oftentimes are trying to defend previous policies they themselves make made.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Question, is that a bogus argument by people who were wrong about Iraq in the first place? I suspect he would suggest you (ph).

GRAHAM: The president -- yes, and I'm telling the president, you're rewriting history at your own convenience.

You got the answer you wanted. You promised to get us out of Iraq and you were hell-bent to get out of Iraq. When everybody told you, you need to leave a force behind, you made it impossible for the Iraqis to say yes.

Mr. President, you authored us getting out of Iraq, and during a debate with Governor Romney, Romney suggested I could support 10,000 troops like the president intends to leave behind, and the president said in the debate, I'm not leaving any troops behind. I'm not going to get entangled in Iraq yet again.

Mr. President, you're rewriting history.

WALLACE: Senator Graham, thank you. Thanks for coming in today.

Now, let's bring in Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Senator Cardin, you just heard Senator Graham and his very strong reactions. What's your reaction?

SEN. BEN CARDIN, D-MD., FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: (AUDIO GAP) to be with you and I have a great amount of respect for Senator Graham, I just disagree with him.

I agree with the president, there is not a U.S. military solution to this issue. We have a very limited mission that the president has authorized to deal with the humanitarian crisis to avoid a genocide and I support that mission. We're protecting U.S. interests as far as the safety of U.S. personnel in the northern part of Iraq. That's our limited mission.

But we're not going to use our military to take care of what the Iraqis should be taking care of. And if you're looking at what the real cause here, the real cause is that the Iraqi government has not formed the way it should to protect the rights of all Iraqis. We are not going to get in the middle of a civil war and use American military where it should be Iraqis taking care of their own needs.

WALLACE: I'm going to get to the threat of is in a moment, but you have reservations about our getting involved at all, I know, and in fact back in May, you joined a number of other senators seeking to repeal the authorization of the use of military force, which was the resolution that allowed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 in the first place.

Is President Obama, from what you heard, is he getting too far involved in this? And when you hear about him talking about this being a long-term project that could take months, are you concerned about this being an open-ended commitment?

CARDIN: Well, I disagreed with our invasion of Iraq 13 years ago. I didn't think there was a military need at that point, that Iraq was not a direct danger to the United States.

I support the president's limited mission here. We have a potential genocide that could take place where the United States at the request of Iraq can do something about it, working with the international community. I think we're right to take action. So I support this humanitarian issue.

I think we have to be very careful that we're not drawn in to the use of our military in a civil war taking place in Iraq.

WALLACE: Now, the president is talking about getting drawn in if you get an inclusive government in Baghdad. If Maliki steps down and you get buy in from the Shiites and the Kurds and the Sunnis.

One, would you support that? And two, what do you make of the fact that there was supposed to by the constitution, the parliament was supposed to meet today to choose a prime minister and they couldn't even agree to do that?

CARDIN: No, I would not support drawing American troops into do what the Iraqis have to do for themselves. I would oppose that.

I do support this humanitarian mission. I think the president is right. Iraqis look at America as being able to help prevent a genocide, and we should do that, working with the international community. We have a game plan in that regard.

What we will not do is become the Iraqi air force, as the president has said. And obviously, we've got to be extremely concerned we're not drawn into that type of military action.

WALLACE: Yes, but now let's get to the point that Senator Graham raised and that is what about ISIS? You've got this group that is even more radical, even more deadly than al Qaeda. They have established a safe haven, what they would call a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East, all the way from northwestern Syria, all the way into central Iraq.

Are you not concerned that they could become a major threat to the home -- to first, the region and eventually to the U.S. homeland?

CARDIN: I'm very concerned about all these extremist groups that believe that it's their way and everyone has to conform to their beliefs and have no respect for people who have different views. Absolutely, I'm very concerned about ISIS and their impact in that region.

And the United States working with international community needs to contain and hopefully eliminate that type of extremist. The way to do it is first and foremost to have a representative government in Iraq so that moderate Sunnis don't find that the only course they have is to line up with extremist groups.

So, let's have a representative government that can reach out to the moderate community and cut off the support for the extremists.

WALLACE: But what about the role of the U.S. Do you really think that we're going to roll back ISIS without a muscular U.S. air presence?

CARDIN: I think that what we need to do is make sure the Iraqis -- do everything we can that the Iraqis fulfill their commitment for a representative government, to work first with the moderate Sunnis so that we can try to eliminate some of the support groups that are working now to help ISIS.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Sir, if I may, you're not answering my question, which is -- is there a role for the U.S. Air Force, for military, airstrikes to take out ISIS?

CARDIN: I don't think we can take out ISIS from a military point of view from the U.S. of our air strikes. That's not going to solve the problem.

The fundamental problem is whether the Iraqis believe that they have a representative government so that Sunnis feel comfortable with the government in Baghdad. I think that's going to be the key to cutting off the type of permanent support that ISIS could otherwise have.

WALLACE: Senator Cardin, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. Always a pleasure to talk with you, sir.

CARDIN: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, President Obama has set strict limits on the U.S. air campaign in Iraq. Our Sunday panel joins the debate about what it will accomplish.

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and we may use your question on the air.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When countless innocent people are facing a massacre and when we have the ability to prevent it, the United States cannot just look away. That's not who we are. We're Americans. We act, we lead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Less than three years after declaring the Iraq war over, President Obama justifies the U.S. going back in, at least to block ISIS from taking over more territory.

And it's time now for our Sunday group. Syndicated columnist George Will, Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, and Ron Fournier from The National Journal.

George, what do you think of the air campaign that the president launched this week and to pick up the phrase he used -- is this a case of America acting and leading?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: He's now the fourth consecutive president to engage militarily with Iraq. And this time, the question is, what is the mission?

If the mission is simply to protect the Kurds and others, then that's one thing. We are actually obligated under the Genocide Convention, which is right here, and which Ronald Reagan signed in 1988, since genocide is a crime under international law, which today, the signatories undertake to prevent them to punish. So, there's this kind of statutory reason for this.

On the other hand, that seems to concede the advances that ISIL has made, there is there is no talk really about getting rid of their conquest of territory out there.  I don't know about you. I was very struck by Jack Keane saying that ISIL is now attacking south of Baghdad. Now, that means they've got them surrounded. It means: A, what's left of the Iraqi state?

The president says much depends on what we do on there being an inclusive government in Baghdad. While he's engineering an inclusive government in Baghdad, the rift of the government doesn't seem to run much beyond the suburbs of Baghdad.

WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and got this on Facebook from Bruce Stultz. He writes, "I'm happy we're helping those on the mountain, but to think that limited military strikes are going to make a difference is silly. You go in to win or don't go in at all."

Jackie, I mean, that seems to be, and we heard this in the debate between Senators Cardin and Senator Graham, what's our mission there? Is it too much, is it to little? How do you answer Bruce?

JACKIE KUCINICH, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think it's striking that there's no end date to these strikes. So, the president, it was kind of vague, and I think it was on purpose so they could potentially expand this later.

I also think Benghazi is looming very large here. I think particularly with the American consulate and Irbil. If that falls, then they have a humanitarian crisis that's even bigger and the problem of getting personnel out, so there are a lot of things. It makes sense what their administration is doing right now.

As far as putting boots on the ground, the president's hand was forced even starting these airstrikes, I think. I don't think he really wanted to go into Iraq again.

So, this is the first step. We'll see what happens.

WALLACE: Well, Laura, it was clear to anybody who was watching on Thursday night that this president really didn't want to do what he was doing. Really didn't want to go back into a combat situation, even from the air, in Iraq -- wasn't happy about doing it, and was trying to come up with a very carefully calibrated, limited policy.

How did he do?

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think it's really hard. I don't think you can judge how he did right now. I mean, it's -- we're almost in an impossible situation, right?

The American people really have no appetite for America to re- engage. They don't want us to go into Syria. Obama didn't (ph) want to go into Syria. That red line was crossed, we couldn't get in. The American people said no, the British people said no.

After Iraq and Afghanistan, our own country, middle class is struggling. People are -- what are we going to do, what are we going to accomplish? So, I think he's trying to -- he's reacting to that, but he also as "The Washington Post" pointed out yesterday, he's now I think reluctantly seeing the perils of inaction. If we do nothing here, then what?

I mean, let's say Iraq does fall, which I think is a possibility? Iraq may fall, if indeed, there are no boots on the ground, not going to happen, can't happen -- that's very empowering to ISIL, right? If they know American troops are not going to be on the ground at all -- and I'm not saying I want them here -- then they know they get an artillery position hit like yesterday and they flood back in, which is what happened yesterday.

They have that hydroelectric dam right now. If ISIL decides to flood much of southern Baghdad, can reach all the way to Baghdad, that in and of itself would be devastating.

And we should also remember, about 3 million Christians lived in Iraq in peace. We're talking about the Yazidis. They need help, desperate in need of help.

Christians have been suffering in Iraq for several years now. And I think our government, even the Bush government, hasn't done enough to protect those religious minorities as well.

So, this is -- this inattention to what's happening on the ground in Iraq has been going on for some time. I don't know if there's a good solution right now, which is a horrible thing to say for the United States of America.

WALLACE: Ron, as I pointed out with General Keane, we're literally hitting one artillery piece, one convoy at a time. Does it make sense to have such a limited mission, such a limited role or should we either be doing more or should we either be doing less?

RON FOURNIER, NATIONAL JOURNAL: I don't know. I think we're missing the big question. First, it's hard to admit it, but our country was not honest about how it got into Iraq and not smart about how we got out of Iraq.

We can't do anything about the former, so let's talk about the latter. I think as you say, the president is doing what most Americans want right now, something very limited. Let's save the people on the mountain, let's save our people on the ground, something is very strategic.

The problem is this is a very ruthless, strategic, well-funded group of terrorists. I even hate to say the word group of terrorists.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: It's a state. It's got a government. It's got an army.

FOURNIER: Its only mission is to take us out. We're going to get hit. They're coming after us and we're going to get hit if we don't figure out how to stop them.

So, short term, yes, the president is doing fine. Long term, this is a president who underestimated ISIS, he called them jayvee.

He underestimated what was going to happen after Libya. He said in a "New York Times" article. He underestimated Putin. He underestimated several other areas. He's been the commander-in-chief or the under-estimator-in-chief.

So, I don't want him to underestimate. We can't afford the president to underestimate this threat. I also don't want him to overreact. We have done that before and it got us into this mess. It's an awfully tough thing to do. I wish I was more confident that the president understood the threat to the country.

WALLACE: You heard Senator Lindsey Graham, George. How do you respond to him when he says, look, forget about political reconciliation in Baghdad, we have our own national security interest? And the fact is, that if you establish this caliphate, that's what they say they are. They don't call themselves ISIS or ISIL. What they call themselves the Islamic State. They said they already a state.

If you establish that in the heart of the Middle East, we are going to bemoan that for decades the way that we bemoan what happened with al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

WILL: We have fought for 13 years, the longest war in our history in Afghanistan, why? Because it's in our national interest not to have a large area which is a safe haven in which terrorists can plot attacks against us. Iraq now, after eight years in Iraq, 2001 to 2011 is becoming exactly what we went into Afghanistan to prevent.

Remember Colin Powell's Pottery Barn rule -- if you break it, you own it. We've broken two states in the Middle East. We broke by our policies state of Libya, we broke by our policy the state in Iraq, and we own the rubble.

WALLACE: So, when we own the rubble. Does that mean we have the responsibility for fixing it?

WILL: No, we have a responsibility to learn the lesson at long last that we can't fix states like this.

FOURNIER: Let me put it this way, 13 years ago almost exactly to this date, President Bush got a memo saying al Qaeda wants to attack America. We've just gotten the memo. That's what's happening right now.

INGRAHAM: And we learned yesterday, today, more details about how al Qaeda is kind of disintegrating right into the Islamic state. So, al Qaeda has become the Islamic state. So George is right, I think we try to do all these things in Iraq. Now Iraq is worse off. I mean, I hate to say that, but Iraq is worse than before we went into Iraq. Christians are gone. There's no sense of order at all. Saddam Hussein is gone. That's a good thing, but what's left? A more emboldened Islamic state. Not contained apparently even by U.S. air strikes. 

WALLACE: All right. All right. We have to take a break here, but we're going to continue the conversation. Up next, the situation in Iraq, just one of many hot spots President Obama faces now. What have we learned about his broader foreign policy? Our Sunday Group continues the discussion when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Our military is so effective that we can keep a lid on problems. It can only last if the people in these countries themselves are able to arrive at the kinds of political accommodations and compromise that any civilized society requires.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: After authorizing air strikes in Iraq, President Obama offers a broader insight into his thinking about what U.S. power can accomplish, and we're back now with the panel. George, what have you learned this week, if anything, about Obama foreign policy, about his very grudging willingness to use force and the very strict limits he puts on it?

WILL: I think we learned three things from his extraordinarily and alarmingly interview with the New York Times. First, he said he wants a settlement in the Middle East, but in Iraq particularly where there are no victors and no vanquished. No, ISIL is not in the realm of political differences. They cut people's heads off. They say that the city have to be exterminated because they're devil worshipers. It's very hard to have a no victors, no vanquished relationship with people like this. Second, he said we have a strategic interest in pushing back ISIL. Back to where? It's not as though they emanated from some state and they are occupying another state. They're home now. And we're certainly not going to push them back with air power. One of the consistent themes of our military experience of the last 100 years is the limitations of air power, no matter how spectacular some of its effects can be. Finally, he said, and this was related, about Russia, he says we want to go back to a cooperative relationship with Russia. Again, no talk about Russia giving back the Crimea. So, again, it's a conceding the advances our enemies have made and trying to be nice to them.

WALLACE: As George pointed out, the president did an interview with Tom Friedman, columnist for the "New York Times," which was very interesting and very wide ranging. In that interview, he said perhaps his biggest foreign policy regret was in Libya, that we got involved in toppling Gadhafi but didn't have a good answer for what happened next. Take a look at this clip in the president's interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I think we underestimated, our European partners underestimated the need to come in full force. If you're going to do this, then it's the day after Gadhafi is gone. So that's a lesson that I now apply every time I ask the question, should we intervene militarily? Do we have an answer the day after?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Jackie, is that sensible caution or is that paralysis by analysis?

KUCINICH: Well, I think he just made Ron's point, exactly what he said. He's underestimated -- underestimated in Libya. I think one of the interesting things is, is that the president has largely followed what the American want on this. They don't want intervention. And yet his polling on foreign policy used to be a huge victory for him. Now it's not. Now it's down low with Obamacare, and it's just striking. They still don't like what he's doing.

WALLACE: You know, Laura, this is not George W. Bush. It's not Ronald Reagan. This is a president who is very cautious about the use of military force. After all the problems of the last decade or so, is that a bad thing?

INGRAHAM: Well, he ran on getting us out of Iraq and on the tails of public dissatisfaction with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he won on this 0effect that he was historic, and he's obligated, he feels, to follow down that path. The problem is reality comes and hits you in the face. And I think Mitt Romney said during the campaign it's like -- almost like the president is managing our decline. Our economic decline of the middle class, refusal to really engage with Republicans on a lot of issues. And now it seems like that management of our decline has now really seeped into our foreign policy, where with Putin, someone like Putin, I have a great interest in Russia, and Putin moves into Ukraine, and we're very slow-footed to react. We have some of these sanctions. Sanctions mean nothing. The Europeans have the north stream, the south stream pipeline going into Europe. That is critical, the lifelet (ph) of Europe. You're never going to get strong sanctions from Europe as long as European leaders know they have to rely on those energy sources. The president doesn't have that strong muscle to go on in Europe and say, look, we need you to do this with us. We have a strategic interest in rolling back Russia. We can't just manage our decline with Russia, we can't just say we're going to sit down with Putin and everything is going to be OK. We have to show unity of strength, at least among our allies, but now that's gone away.

WALLACE: In the New York Times interview, the president does talk about Putin and Russia and Ukraine, and he says this. At one point, he says he could invade, and almost sounding like he's a bystander watching a train wreck happen. Your thoughts about presidential strength and weakness and the use of force and the willingness to use it. Because sometimes, if I may, as somebody who covered Ronald Reagan for six years, sometimes -- well, to use his line, peace through strength. Sometimes you get more peace if people think that you're willing to use force and if you do in fact do it on occasion.

FOURNIER: As someone who covered Bill Clinton and George Bush, I'll say the American people don't want intervention, but the American people also don't want weakness, and they don't want to be attacked. He does have to deal with the world as we have it, not the world as we want it. Three things about that struck me. One, he just put up there. He's going to invade? Well, that's a pretty big deal, Mr. President. What's the next sentence? Two, the comment about no victors and no vanquished. That's a funny thing for a president to say who's overseeing the political system that's all about -- they can't get over ...

INGRAHAM: They didn't' take that approach in the campaign.

FOURNIER: Exactly, the White House is all about victors and vanquish. So, Republicans (INAUDIBLE), that's a problem. That's a different issue. Also, Tom's lead -- I thought it was a wonderful interview, but Tom's lead said that the president has -- it's clear that the president has a take on the world. I read that story three or four times. I can't find the president's take on the world. And that I think is a problem the American public has right now, that shows weakness, if you can't let us know what's going on and where you're taking us and how you're going to protect us from this new threat.

WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. So, what do you think? Should the U.S. go back into Iraq in a combat role? Join the conversation on Facebook with other FNS viewers.

Up next, some American companies are renouncing their corporate citizenship and relocating overseas to save millions in taxes. Should the president use executive action to stop them?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: They're called tax inversions and it's a growing trend. American companies moving their tax home to a nation with lower rates to save millions. President Obama calls it unpatriotic and is considering executive action to stop it. We'll have two experts on to debate the issue, but first, Fox Business Network's Peter Barnes explains how it works.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER BARNES, FOX BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: More U.S. companies are moving their headquarters overseas through mergers with foreign firms which can save them a boat load in corporate taxes. Their top tax rate can drop from 35 percent in the U.S. to on average 20 percent overseas. House Democrats say 75 companies have completed so-called corporate inversions since 1994. Senate Democrats say as many as 25 more could do it this year alone, costing the Treasury more than $19 billion over the next decade. It's all legal under current U.S. tax law, which the president wants to change. But some Republicans say it's more an election year ploy to make inversions about economic patriotism and help Democrats in fall elections.

OBAMA: These accounts are saying, you know what, we found a great loophole. If you just flip your citizenship to another country, even though it's just a paper transaction, we think we can get you out of paying a whole bunch of taxes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BARNES: Senate Democrats are expected to hold a vote on inversion legislation when they return from their summer recess in September, but the measure is likely to die in the House. Chris?

WALLACE: Peter, thank you. Joining us now to debate this, the president of the Business Roundtable, former governor John Engler, and Delaware Senator Chris Coons who is on the budget committee. Gentlemen, welcome. President Obama is coming down hard on these companies that carry out these inversions, saying that they show a lack of what he calls economic patriotism. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Right now, a loophole in our tax laws makes this totally legal. And I think that's totally wrong. You don't get to pick which rules you play by or which tax rate you pay, and neither should these companies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Governor Engler, I fully understand that companies can save a lot of money by doing this and that it is legal, but his duty to shareholders, does that trump duty to country?

JOHN ENGLER, PRESIDENT, THE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE: Well, they have to follow the law. And as the president said, they have been following the law, but what the inversion is, is an indication of how out of date our tax code is. We really haven't touched it in 30 years since the Reagan compromised back in the mid-'80s. And since that time, everybody in the world has been changing their tax code. We've now got a tax code that actually is more favorable to foreign headquarter companies than it is to our own, and we ought to have the tax code in the United States that's the best in the world that helps create the most jobs.

WALLACE: But I guess the question I'm asking you is, in the current system, with the current law, you don't have a problem with an American company doing this paper transaction to declare that it's an Irish company or a Swiss company to save millions of dollars?

ENGLER: Well, what we favor is the comprehensive reform.

WALLACE: I'm asking whether you have a problem with this ...

ENGLER: No, I have a problem with the tax code that's so outmoded and archaic that it's forcing these kinds of decisions, and what we're seeing today is the inability to compete the way we should. That's why job growth is less here, and we think that the comprehensive approach proposed by the (INAUDIBLE), for example, is a good start ...

WALLACE: House Ways and Means. Let me bring in Senator Coons. Terms like unpatriotic, corporate deserter are powerful, but if you are the CEO of a company, and someone comes in and says, hey, this is the law, and you can save hundreds of millions of dollars and give that back to your shareholders, what is wrong with that?

SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DEL., BUDGET COMMITTEE: Well, they're following their fiduciary duty to advance shareholders' interests, but they are not following their duty as Americans, as folks to contribute to carrying their costs of the burdens of our country. You're an American-headquartered company in this pattern, because you're taking advantage of our intellectual property protection, our military, our schools, our universities, our research, and I do have a problem, and I think most Americans do, with the idea that we have a corporate tax code that's riddled with loopholes, that's badly out of date and that's unfair. So, I agree with John that the real solution here is to move to comprehensive tax reform so we have a more competitive tax system. But frankly, like the president, I have a problem with a mostly American company using a tax loophole to avoid paying their fair share.

WALLACE: But let's talk about that corporate tax code because CEOs will say fine, we would love to stay in this country, but I have to pay a 35 percent top corporate tax rate here and a 12.5 percent top corporate tax rate, for instance, in Ireland. And you guys in Congress have talked about it for years and have done nothing.

COONS: Well, first, let's give credit where credit's due. The president in the State of the Union this year called for reducing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent. And engaging in comprehensive reform.

WALLACE: (INAUDIBLE)

COONS: And we did get real and strong proposals from Chairman Camp and from Chairman Baucus. We do need to come together. Congress has a responsibility to deal with this issue. In the long-term in the next year or two, and in the short term, I hope we will take bipartisan action to deal with inversions, because you said in the introduction, it could cost us $18 billion to $20 billion over the next decade. We're losing corporate headquarters, we're losing jobs and we're losing resources.

WALLACE: Governor Engler, Democrats say they're willing to cut corporate taxes but Republicans insist if you're going to do that, you also need to cut individual tax rates because so many of these companies file as individuals, the smaller companies, not in the corporate tax rate. Are you really going to hold up corporate tax reform to get the individual tax rate lower?  ENGLER: I think the business tax reform comprehensively without getting into individual rates. I don't ...

WALLACE: Even for companies?

ENGLER: Even for companies. I think you can approach this in a comprehensive way. That's what Chairman Camp attempted to do. He actually had a 25 percent rate for manufacturing companies, whether they were incorporated or not. I think that this is an opportunity for the president to lead. I think the call maybe ought to be to Secretary Lew. Look, let's get Chairman Camp and Chairman Wyden, the respective relevant chairs in a room over August and September. We can have something ready to go when we get back. Let's not spend the time at Treasury trying to come up with little fixes when we've got an opportunity to prove the competitors of the United States.

WALLACE: Let's talk about that because in the absence of any agreement on legislation, President Obama is in this area as well, talking about possibly taking executive action to stop tax inversions. What makes this particularly interesting is just last month, Treasury Secretary Lew said that was not possible. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK LEW, TREASURY SECRETARY: We do not believe we have the authority to address this inversion question through administrative action. If we did, we would be doing more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator Coons, that was just a few weeks ago. What's changed?

COONS: Well, the larger point here is that we should act in Congress. That the president would prefer Congress to act and we should.

WALLACE: No, I know. I'm not asking you about -- why was it that in mid-July that the Treasury Secretary said he didn't have the power for executive action to stop inversions, but now the president says they do?

COONS: There are some technical areas where Treasury can continue to apply the impact of the 2004 law. Let me be clear on this point. In 2004, a Republican Congress and a Republican president joined with Democrats in the House and Senate to pass a law to address inversions as a problem. When it was first emerging. There are provisions in that law that Treasury is looking hard at. They would prefer that Congress acts in a bipartisan way as they did a decade ago to stem the job loss and stem the revenue loss, but in the absence of congressional action, I do think Treasury will step up and do something to stop the bleeding.

WALLACE: Let me just ask you, as we are running out of time. Governor Engler, if President Obama and Treasury, if they take executive action, will you try to stop them? And you're a former politician, former governor. Isn't this a good political issue for the Democrats because once again they can say we're on the side of the little guy, we're on the side of the Americans, and Republicans are on the side of the big corporations trying to save money by pretending they're Irish or Swiss?

ENGLER: I think that one thing all Americans are tired of is, all the political games in Washington. They want a solution. I don't' know. I think the clip you showed from the Secretary Treasury, I think it's very hard, they can tweak, but why spend the time doing that, why not fix the problem. And, you know, it's not a little problem. Our rate is 35 percent. Now, the whole inversion doesn't change the U.S. taxes on U.S. activities, and it doesn't change the foreign tax on the foreign activities. It only changes that when the company wants to bring the money home. And so, that does impact. And we would suggest that we ought to put the focus on growth here, comprehensive plan, we are going to have to write regulatory energy policy, all that stuff, too, but this is the most important thing you can do if you want U.S. growth to pick up and accelerate, fix an outmoded tax code, modernize it.

WALLACE: Governor Engler, Senator Coons, we want to thank you both for coming in today. Obviously, this is going to be a hot issue and it will be interesting to see what the president does on his own and how much he's able to accomplish in this area of tax inversion. Thank you both, gentlemen.

Up next, our Power Player of the Week, Ivanka Trump, on what it's like to be the Donald's daughter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: Her father is one of this country's most recognizable figures, but as we told you last fall, now she's making a name for herself with her own style and accomplishments. Here's our power player of the week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVANKA TRUMP: I represent the feminine voice of an otherwise more masculine brand.

WALLACE (voiceover): At age 32, Ivanka Trump has grown into a force in her own right. Executive vice president of the Trump Organization, she also runs the Ivanka Trump Collection of women's clothes and accessories, which will make $250 million this year. And she's a larger than life presence in New York social scene.

(on camera): How is it to be Donald Trump's daughter?

IVANKA TRUMP, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION: I happen to be very lucky and that in any pressure he puts on me I put on myself probably, you know, five times more.

DONALD TRUMP, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Ivanka, congratulations on to you and your team, and you better do a good job or you're fired.

(LAUGHTER)

WALLACE (on camera): Ivanka and her dad were in Washington last fall to announce plans to turn the old post office pavilion a few blocks from the White House into a luxury hotel. And yes, she has inherited her dad's gift for promotion.

IVANKA TRUMP: There's nothing comparable to this building. You just couldn't build it today.

WALLACE: Ivanka was eight months pregnant when we talked, but that didn't stop her from traveling to Washington or from all her work for the Trump Organization.

IVANKA TRUMP: I'll be involved from the acquisition to the financing through the development and execution, whether it be announcing a new super luxury golf course in Dubai or a project, project in Istanbul or a hotel in Beijing. There's a tremendous amount to keep us busy.

WALLACE: Ivanka graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, but as the daughter of the man who wrote "The Art of the Deal," she acknowledges it's also in her genes.

(on camera): What is it about the deal that excites you?

IVANKA TRUMP: You know, it's not the money, the dance of negotiation. You have to be very intuitive to read the person that you're working with or against or in partnership or in concert with.

WALLACE: Are there some advantages to being a woman in the boardroom?

IVANKA TRUMP: People will be less prepared when meeting with me than they are when they are meeting with my father. And that is to my benefit.

WALLACE (voiceover): Ivanka says one thing she loves about a project is when it's done, you see people using it, enjoying what she worked on for years, from planning to financing to construction.

IVANKA TRUMP: Real estate is particularly exciting for me because it's tangible. So many people operate in a similar way, you know, buying and selling assets that they don't really own outside of paper. Ultimately at the end of the day, if you have executed, it's there and it represents those labors in a very real and tangible way.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: Last October, Ivanka and her husband welcomed Joseph into their family, and the Trumps were back in Washington last month for the groundbreaking of the old post office project.

And that's it for today. Have a great week. And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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Sunday March 29, 2015

The United States finds itself on both sides of the Sunni-Shiite conflict in the Middle East. In Yemen, helping the Saudi-led effort against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. And in Iraq, fighting on the same side as Iran in the effort to take Tikrit from the terror group ISIS. The chaos threatens ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, as well as the White House’s terror strategy as a whole. We’ll discuss the possibility of regional war in the Middle East, and the Obama administration’s handling of it all, exclusively with retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

As the race for the White House heats up, candidates on both sides of the political aisle are crisscrossing the country in the hopes of gaining momentum for a potential presidential bid. One of these possible contenders vying for support is former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who is making a name for herself as one of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s biggest critics. We’ll ask Carly Fiorina how she plans to stand-out in a crowded GOP field— exclusively this Fox News Sunday.