Retired admiral: You can’t kill your way out of a terrorism problem

Former State Department spokesman John Kirby slammed President Trump on Monday for employing a mostly military approach to combating extremism and radicalism rather than getting at the root causes.

"You cannot kill your way out of a terrorism problem,” Kirby said on CNN’s “New Day.” "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 said the president and his team primarily speak about terrorism in “very aggressive, military terms.” 

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“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.” 

“We’ve been at this now for at least 16 years — very aggressively on the ground. We are going to be at it for a much longer time.”

Trump signed a memorandum in January giving military leaders 30 days to come up with "comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS." 

"This is the plan to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office at the time, adding that "there can be no accommodation or negotiation" with the group.