President Donald Trump’s method of dealing with terrorists — to fight them and kill them — has put him in the crosshairs of a former State Department spokesman who went on national television to chide the White House chief and say: You can’t simply kill terrorists. They must be first understood.
Because that was Barack Obama’s approach — the all diplomacy, all the time method — and it brought on the spread of ISIS.
But to John Kirby, reitred Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, it’s that — failed — approach that’s necessary.
“You cannot kill your way out of a terrorism problem,” Kirby said, on CNN. “We can hit these guys as often as we want and as aggressively as we want, but we are never going to kill the problem of terrorism.”
Kirby outright criticized Trump’s team for talking about terrorism in “very aggressive, military terms,” and called for softer language, a softer approach.
“‘But when you listen to President Trump and his surrogates talk about terrorism, and the threat — and the very real threat that it poses, you hear that talk about it almost in purely militaristic terms — in very aggressive, military terms.’ the retired Navy rear admiral said.
“‘And I don’t see a comprehensive, cohesive, you know, multifaceted strategy in the works right now,’ Kirby added.
“Kirby said the White House is only talking minimally about how to get to the root causes of why people radicalize.
“‘There’s very little discussion about getting at the root causes of extremism and terrorism — working on issues of poverty and human rights and corruption overseas — and that’s a real problem here, because this is a generational conflict.’
“The former State Department spokesman said the fight against terrorism is going to continue ‘for a much longer time.’
His remarks come just a few months after Trump signed a directive to his military leaders, giving them 30 days to come up with a “comprehensive” plan to beat ISIS.
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