• With: Donald Rumsfeld

    This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 24, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.

    And we might not know what to call ISIS, but it's pretty clear now what they like to call Christians, prisoners, or worse, because just days after the terrorist beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians, reports today the terror group rounded up to 100 Syrian Christians.

    No one knows what has happened to them, but former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld know what should happen to the thugs seizing them.

    The author of "Rumsfeld's Rules" on setting up some new rules for ISIS.

    Secretary, good to have you with us.

    What do you make of what's going on here and why this constant targeting of Christians?

    DONALD RUMSFELD, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, an Islamist has a desire to impose their will over others.

    And they are attacking the very concept of the nation-state. And they try to punish people. We see it, not just Christians, but Jews as well, and the desecration of churches and graveyards, beheading of people. What we're seeing is a phenomenon that is not unique in world history, but is growing, it's serious, and it needs to be dealt with in a way that creates deterrents and dissuasions that are effective.

    And the idea that we can just sit back and let it happen and think it will go away, it won't go away. It will grow and build until we go out and deal with them in a very forceful way, I'm afraid.

    CAVUTO: Now, I know you have said in the past, sir, that a part of that forceful way is seeing them for what they are, Muslim extremists. Secretary of State Kerry was being questioned in the Senate today and disagreed with that notion.

    I want you to listen to this.


    JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This is bigger. That's what Marie was saying.


    KERRY: And it didn't deserve -- she never set out to say, the solution is give them jobs.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Secretary Kerry...


    KERRY: Talked about a much broader array of things we have to do. And if we can't have a serious conversation without politicizing it on cable TV and making it a scoring point for one day, we're in trouble.


    CAVUTO: The fact of the matter is, Secretary, as you know, that the State Department spokesman did say that. I want to bring this to the viewers' attention and maybe to Senator -- or to Secretary Kerry. Listen to this.


    MARIE HARF, SPOKESWOMAN, STATE DEPARTMENT: We cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need, in the longer term, medium and longer term, to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it's lack of opportunity for jobs.

    We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economy, so they can have job opportunities for these people. What makes these 17-year-old kids pick up an AK-47, instead of try to start a business?


    CAVUTO: I will tell you, Secretary, it's almost as if Mr. Kerry didn't have a chance to listen to all her remarks, but clearly she was saying and the message was, if not for a job or economic opportunities, ISIS wouldn't be that big a problem.

    Do you agree with that notion?

    RUMSFELD: Well, you know, I listen to that, and it's worrisome because mixed in are some things that are accurate with some things that are not accurate.

    It certainly is true that there are a lot of unemployed and poor people in the world, but the overwhelming majority of them are not Islamist, they're not going out killing Christians and Jews, they're not training young men and women to strap bombs on, explosives and go into a shopping center or a market and blow themselves up.

    They're not attacking Jewish delicatessens. And so the fact that there are poor people in the world is a fact. But to then translate that into the idea that the cause, root cause of the problem is something other than the radical ideology that is being promulgated in the world by jihadists I think is to mix up things that are accurate with things that are not accurate.

    CAVUTO: Do you think, Secretary -- and I'm trying to give every benefit of the doubt to the administration on this one -- they don't return my phone calls -- but that she was saying and that the secretary was saying that when it comes to winning over American recruits or disadvantaged or angry malcontents, that their economic situation does come into play?

    What do you say to that?

    RUMSFELD: Well, I think it can in the case of some instances.

    But, I mean, bin Laden was a billionaire family. A number of these top jihadists are Ph.D.s or M.D.s and have extensive academic backgrounds and they're not poor. What we're dealing is an ideological battle. If you think of communism -- at one time, I said, this is going to be a long, hard slog, back in 2003, I think.

    CAVUTO: Right.

    RUMSFELD: And people said, gee, I wonder.

    And the fact of the matter is, it's much like the Cold War, where you have to deal with an ideology. And, again, there's some truth in what she said, that you can't -- you're not going to win this with bullets alone. That's true, because it's going to take a competition of ideas. And we're going to have to find ways to dissuade people forcefully from killing other people, but also persuade people ideologically that they're on the losing side and they shouldn't be doing what they're doing and the world's not going to tolerate killing innocent men, women and children, Christians, Jews.

    And I must say a lot of Muslims are killed by these jihadists who are attempting to establish a caliphate in the world.

    CAVUTO: You know, when you mentioned, as you did -- and then you have echoed this in recent interviews -- this idea of a long, hard slog, the fact of the matter was, in the second Iraq War, the immediate actions were quick and were decisive.