© Getty Images
Former acting CIA Director Jack Devine says there is a greater risk of violence worldwide than ever before.
“I think this is the most dangerous time in terms of sustained violence,” he said on “The Cats Roundtable” in an interview airing Sunday on New York’s AM-970.
“I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today,” he told host John Catsimatidis. “Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we’re all vulnerable.”
Devine cited the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an unprecedented threat in terms of its wanton disregard for human life.
“I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately,” he said.
“You have a group in ISIS today that is frankly uncivilized. These folks could get stronger and stronger. We basically have to destroy ISIS over there,” Devine said. “If there’s blame to be put, it’s on our failure to have done that by this point.”
Devine argued that dismantling ISIS’s command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them.
“We killed three-fourths of their leadership,” he said of al Qaeda. “We have to do the same thing with ISIS. “We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall.”
ISIS is boasting about its role in the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that killed 130 people and wounded more than 300 others in Paris.
It has also taken credit for bombing a Russian passenger jet over Egypt on Oct. 31, killing 224 passengers over the Sinai Peninsula there.
The radical Islamist group is threatening further bloodshed against the West, particularly New York and Washington, D.C.
Devine said Sunday that ISIS’s campaign of extremism worldwide is uniting formerly bitter rivals in opposition against it.
“There’s a lot of movement now towards some sort of coalition between Russia, us, France and our allies in Arab world,” he said.
Devine, who mainly served during the Cold War, said ISIS is a scourge without parallel because it has no concern for self-preservation.
“There is nothing that can be compared with nuclear weapons and their use,” he said of tensions between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.
“[But] people felt safe in the sense there was countervailing balance,” he added. “Early in our contest with the Russians, it was clear we had checks and balances.”