This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," August 24, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good morning. Expanding the fight against ISIS. I'm Maria Bartiromo. This is "Sunday Morning Futures." Hi, everybody.
Comments by members of the Obama administration suggesting this is becoming more than a limited military mission, including taking the battle to Syria. The vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is joining us this morning, live.
Plus, Ukraine's leader ratcheting up his military budget. Ahead of a meeting with Vladimir Putin and members of the E.U., is there any way to end this crisis?
And then after a string of contradictory stories about Lois Lerner's e-mails, will we finally get to the truth in the IRS investigation? The chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa, on that and a lot more, as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Welcome back. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey stating quite clearly, ISIS, a terror organization that resides in Syria, cannot be defeated merely with air strikes in Iraq. General Dempsey laid out using a, quote, "variety of instruments, diplomatic, economic, information and military, to defeat the Islamic state terror group."
Let's talk about this. Mac Thornberry is with me. He is the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, joining us right now.
Good to have you on the program, Congressman. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. MAC THORNBERRY, R-TEXAS: You're welcome.
BARTIROMO: Well, we're getting new information this morning, Western sources saying that now the London rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary is, in fact, the suspect, in terms of the specific person doing the beheading of James Foley. What is the U.S. supposed to do at this point in response to these horrific acts?
THORNBERRY: Well, you've got to keep in mind, first, that this is a different kind of threat than we faced before from Al Qaida. This is the best-financed, best-equipped, best-trained terrorist organization. And the other way it's different is they have more Western passports, making it easier to get to Europe and back, easier to get to the United States and back than Al Qaida ever did. So that's part of the reason this is such a unique and dangerous threat to us and why we've got to take it seriously. A few bombs, you know, here and there is not going to make the difference.
BARTIROMO: Well, you know, I really want to get to the bottom of why it is that ISIS is the best-financed and why it is that ISIS has the best equipment. I recognize the U.S. left all of that artillery in Iraq when we took our troops out.
But stay with us, Congressman. I want you to hit on those two points. But first, let's get to the bottom of this and find out really what exactly did this terror group come from -- how did they grow so strong, so quickly?
Fox News senior correspondent, Eric Shawn, with that angle. Over to you, Eric.
ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria.
And good morning, everyone. In the span of seven months, ISIS went from being called the "JV" by the president of the United States to an imminent threat to our country by the secretary of defense. What happened so fast?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: There's no divergence. This is August. You're talking about comments that were made in January. ISIS -- and we have been watching this for months -- they have grown in capability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: That growth has been stunning and shocking since President Obama in that January New Yorker magazine interview likened the radical Islamic barbarians to a high school basketball team in terms of their capability.
Well, since then, in a matter of days, ISIS captured a huge swath of Syria and Iraq, declaring it "the Islamic state." And now it threatens to behead a second American journalist, Steve Sotloff, who has written for Time and Foreign Policy magazine.
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL: Marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded. Oh, this is beyond anything that we've seen. So we must prepare for -- for everything.
SHAWN: Well, that everything, some fear, could include terror attacks here at home, like the 2005 London subway and bus bombings. Some 500 ISIS members are believed to have British passports, like James Foley's suspended killer, and reports put the number of Americans who are members of ISIS at about one dozen.
Some cite the president's long refusal to help arm the Syrian rebels for helping to create the conditions for ISIS to flourish and say the U.S. is now playing catchup, warning air strikes will not be enough.
FRED FLEITZ, FORMER CIA SENIOR ANALYST: To defeat ISIS in Syria, we're either going to have to send in troops or we're going to have to work with the Syrian army. We are not going to defeat ISIS just with air strikes in Syria.
SHAWN: We now face a new and potentially lengthy battle with an underestimated adversary. And for a president who said he was elected to end wars, not stop them, a cold realization of what it could take to protect his nation. Maria?
BARTIROMO: All right, Eric. Thanks very much.
And we are back now with Congressman Mac Thornberry.
Congressman, what about that? This group has become so strong in such a small period of time. Who is funding them?
THORNBERRY: Well, they're funding themselves. And that's why they're so dangerous. They do get some money from other Sunnis around the Middle East and elsewhere. But they have taken over banks and they have their own oil resources, which they sell on the black market. So they can fund themselves, and that's part of what makes them so dangerous. Squeezing their financing is not going to be enough to stop them.
BARTIROMO: I've got some numbers in front of us. And apparently, ISIS is controlling only about 40,000 barrels a day at this point with what they're controlling in the north, the northern part of Iraq. Because we know that, in the south, we've got much more oil production.
But that is estimating bringing them $1 million a day by selling that oil on the black market. What should the U.S. be doing?
THORNBERRY: Well, I'd say two or three things. One is, quit telling them what we're not going to do. Every time the president takes options off the table, it simplifies their planning.
Secondly, I think we've got a lot of reassuring to do. As the report just emphasized, we can't do this alone, and we can't do this just from the air. We have to have allies in the region, and they have real doubts about the United States, our leadership and especially whether we will stick with something.
So the president is going to have to reassure other countries, including the Iraqis, that if we get into this, we're in it to stay; we're not going to cut and run like we have before.
I think that reassurance mission is really the key to defeating ISIS, because then others will step up and they will join our coalition. If they don't, then -- then they're not willing to -- to take that risk.
BARTIROMO: How big of a mistake was it to leave our equipment in Iraq? I mean, when we took our troops out of Iraq, we left this high-tech armament, American innovation in terms of weaponry, there, and now it's in ISIS's hands.
THORNBERRY: Yeah. It was a big mistake when we did not leave behind advisers and trainers to help them to continue to develop as a military force. So that was the idea. We were going to keep a few thousand folks there to help the Iraqi military develop and use it and be an effective fighting force. We left. They fell apart. And it all got into the hands of ISIS.
BARTIROMO: Well, this is a major mistake.