There’s quite a bit of (U.S.) fire power in the region, but the real question is, what do we apply that firepower to?” — Steve GanyardNEW YORK, NY — ABC News’ Jonathan Karl spoke with Col. Steve Ganyard (USMC Ret.), President of Avascent Global Advisors, concerning the burgeoning crisis in Iraq.
The United States is moving the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier into position in the Persian Gulf, which carries four fighter attack squadrons that can be deployed to support Iraqi troops if needed. In addition, un-piloted aircraft including Reaper and Predator drones are stationed in Incirlik, Turkey, ready for use across the region. However, the U.S. lacks operatives on the ground to distinguish ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) targets from the civilian population; surveillance assets including drones aren’t sufficient for targeting purposes.
Gaynard stressed that approval of targets is a key; U.S. bombs could destroy areas, the demise of which would be beneficial to the Iraqis but not in the interest of U.S. National Security. When asked about ISIS’ connections in Syria, Gaynard stressed that “this is an Iraqi-Sunni blowback against the Maliki government, rather than some determined enemy coming out of Syria.”
Watch the entire clip here.