Retired Col. Jack Jacobs, an NBC military analyst, blasted Obama administration policy in Syria Thursday, saying the latest moves by Russia in the war-torn nation showed "we're not doing anything" and uncovered "the fiction that we're actually engaged in getting rid of" Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Russian airstrikes in Syria this week against anti-Assad forces were yet another antagonistic move by Russia toward Obama and the United States. Obama has long contended that Assad has to be removed from power to achieve a political solution in Syria. Putin escalated a steady military build-up in Syria last month culminating in the airstrikes to bolster Assad, a Putin ally that the Russian president says is critical to fighting the Islamic State terrorist group.
"We're not doing anything," Jacobs said. "One of the things this uncovers is the fiction that we're actually engaged in getting rid of Assad and destroying ISIS on the ground with airstrikes. We've been doing airstrikes, but we haven't made any headway whatsoever. ISIS is bigger than it was before."
CNBC reporter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera asked Jacobs what the best thing was for Americans to do right now. Jacobs sharply replied they should "shut up" and not engage in the kind of rhetoric Defense Secretary Ash Carter employed Wednesday, when he said the Russians were being "counterproductive."
"Shut up is the first thing to do," Jacobs said. "We're not doing anything whatsoever … The most outrageous thing imaginable was the secretary of defense … his criticism of Putin was that Putin was not professional, that the way Russia's been doing it is not professional. I mean, if the worst thing that you can say about somebody is that he's not genteel in waging war and making you look like a dummy, then you've got absolutely nothing to say."
If the U.S. were "really serious" about influencing events in Syria, Jacobs said, the U.S would get the Kurds and Sunnis together and generate a multi-national force including Saudi Arabia to help stabilize Syria.
"The United States has no stomach for continuing any war in the Middle East, and it's all flypaper there," Jacobs said.
Jacobs also attacked the administration for showing its hand by saying it wouldn't put any troops on the ground in various conflicts.
"Anybody who has any military experience knows that everything we've been doing there is bankrupt," he said, later adding, "We've got egg on our face because we clearly have a bankrupt–we don't even have a strategy."