McChrystal: Americans should unite behind Obama's ISIS strategy

Retired four star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal urged Americans on Friday to unite behind President Obama’s strategy to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“If you think about our strategy now, the one thing we absolutely need is cohesion in the United States in support of the president’s strategy. Is it a perfect strategy? No. I’ve never seen a perfect strategy. But I can guarantee it’s a weaker strategy if we don’t fall behind him,” he said in an interview on CNN’s “Outfront with Erin Burnett.”

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McChrystal said U.S. airstrikes against ISIS won’t completely eliminate the extremist group.

“It’s a tool. It’s part of what you do, but it doesn’t solve the problem,” he said. “If you start to look for the simple, very surgical solution, it’s an illusion, it’s almost deceptive because it will look and feel like you’re solving the problem, when in reality the problem is much more fundamental.” 

McChrystal was the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan under Presdent George W. Bush and was the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command. He was also heavily involved in military operations in Iraq. 

The retired general warned ISIS is in a better position than al Qaeda because its members control territory in Iraq and Syria. This allows them to provide good and services to people just as a state would. 

“If you can do that to a level that’s accepted by the population, even if it’s not loved, they have an opportunity to get legitimacy that they shouldn’t have,” McChrystal said. “Over time, that legitimacy could make them pretty difficult to root out.”