As President Obama reiterated at the United Nations Wednesday that the global community must repel terror groups – including the Islamic State, or ISIS – foreign policy analysts, including Gen. Michael Hayden, are raising concerns over U.S. strategy against extremists.
Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, told FoxNews.com that American policy against ISIS has recently improved, but cautions there are still questions over implementation.
“We are in a better place than we were two weeks ago. We are actually engaged and engaged with some force,” said Hayden.
He says the U.S. objective is clear to degrade and destroy ISIS, yet when it comes to the current plan of action, “I don’t think I know of anyone who thinks the strategy is adequate to the objective.”
The U.S. and partner nations continued Wednesday to hit key terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq.
While the current round of airstrikes will hurt ISIS’ operational capability, critics, including Hayden, point out that “to get the final objective to destroy ISIS, you can’t do it with what the president has committed and he has spent an awful lot of time explaining what we won’t do.”
Publicly putting limitations on what will and won’t be done by U.S. forces is raising some concern.
“No one, even the most hawkish of my friends, no one is looking for American maneuver battalions or brigades …. but the president has put an artificial limit on what we can do with the troops that we have there,” said Hayden.
He believes by putting the terrorists on the defensive, the U.S. can work to reaffirm security stateside.
“We are coming after them [ISIS] with airstrikes, we know it doesn’t change the fundamental basic issues on the ground. But we erode, we degrade, and we make sure they spend a lot of time thinking about their own survival rather than making up plans to threaten yours or mine,” said Hayden.