OTR Interviews

Oliver North: Air strikes not a strategy for a sophisticated, better-funded new breed of terrorist like ISIS

With ISIS more sophisticated - and more well-funded - than al Qaeda and airstrikes appearing not to slow their momentum in Iraq, what is the key to victory?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 12, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Lawmakers warning ISIS is more powerful now than al Qaeda was on 9/11. So, how do we stop ISIS and is it matter of our National Security?

Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North joins us. Good evening, sir. And I'm to call it terrorist army and not a thing else.

LT. COL. OLIVER NORTH, US MARINE CORPS: Well, we've been called -- we the media, the White House, the State Department, even the Pentagon called them militants and they've been called extremist and rebels. They're that, it's a terrorist army of some ten thousand strong now, the biggest terrorist army that's ever existed.

VAN SUSTEREN: And it got lot of money. A lot of money, a lot of arms.

NORTH: And, in fact, they have got so much they're now out recruiting trying to hire mechanics and technicians who can maintain the equipment. That's the only good news in all of this.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is the Pentagon strategy?

NORTH: There is none. Look, I have been all over the place, you have an ethnic cleansing. A religious cleansing perhaps in our life times, the most serious genocide we've witnessed. Our parents got to watch what happened in World War II, if we don't take steps now to prevent this form happening, 25 years from now, our kids and grandkids will say, what were you doing? You can't claim you didn't know about it, you know, there are people who still say they didn't know about the holocaust in the 1940s. Well, the reality of it is that what's happening today is right there on the visuals. They're taking their own pictures of this stuff. They're doing crucifixions of Christian and Yazidis. They hang them up, they gouge their eyes out. I hope I'm not being too graphic at your dinner time for a lot of Americans. But this is horrific.

VAN SUSTEREN: There is a picture of a kid holding a head.

NORTH: Oh, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean that Secretary Kerry is.

NORTH: So, it's not just a humanitarian crisis, it's a true genocidal catastrophe. And we are obligated to help and that's what this, these additional soldiers and marines that are going in are going to do. The Marines are experts at NEO, non-combatant evacuations operations. And that's what they need up there on that mountain side. Otherwise these people are going to die one of thirst, malnutrition, disease, and of course, every time an ISIL unit can get near them they kill them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is 130 enough then?

NORTH: No. It depends on what we wanted to do. I mean, we are now talking about quote, targeted air strikes.

VAN SUSTEREN: But they're all targeted. I hope they are targeted.

NORTH: To my military mind have only spent most of my life in it that every air strike is targeted.

VAN SUSTEREN: It better be.

NORTH: The target of air strike is supposed to be, according to Pentagon and the White House, there's supposed to be supporting humanitarian operations and protecting American personnel. Which we just put 130 more. We're now up to about 800 by the way. And you are also trying to protect American facilities like the consulate which has now been abandoned by the way in ISIL or in (inaudible).

Air strikes are not a strategy. The problem here is that there doesn't seem to be anybody who wants to form a strategy. For example, if you're going to take these guys on, you are seeing on the screen right now, you're gonna have to target their command control and communications. You can't just let them exist and border between Syria and Iraq. And so, what you've got to look like -- look at is not just what's happening with them but the nightmare scenario that's happening in Baghdad. Al-Maliki refuses to leave, his Praetorian Guard, which is primarily recruited by al-Sistani, the leading Shiite cleric, they will kill him and they will blame us just to get him out of there. And it will be a catastrophe for the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Colonel North, always nice to see you, sir.

NORTH: For better topics, I hope.