Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, said Sunday he would tell President Obama "to put your Commander-in-Chief hat on" in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) terrorist organization.
"I would just say, Mr. President, this is not a political game," Ridge said. "You need to not put your political hat on, you need to put your Commander-in-Chief hat on … The folks at the Pentagon whose recommendations you've ignored for the past couple years, I'd like you to listen to them, and more importantly I want you to be the global leader that everybody in the world expects you to be."
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Ridge, speaking with New York radio's John Catsimatidis on AM 970 program The Cats Roundtable, remarked that Obama's press conferences about IS were not enough to cut it. Obama recently stated that better ideas, rather than guns, defeated ideologies like IS, and he has said on multiple occasions that the United States has not formed a cohesive strategy to battle the group.
Ridge also said that a coalition of Arab allies could help turn the tide against the extremist faction.
"It’s in their best interest, it’s in their backyards and ISIS is killing their citizens," he said of the Arab response to the terrorist group.
"I’d like to think there’s a common interest in eliminating ISIL given how barbarous they are and how much chaos they have caused in the region regardless of whether you’re Sunni or Shiite," Ridge added, using an alternate acronym for the radical organization.
Ridge additionally criticized Obama’s current military tactics against ISIS.
"Airstrikes are not going to get it done," he said. "It’s a whack-a-mole strategy. They need to be degraded and destroyed."
Ridge also criticized a potential nuclear deal with Iran, saying nothing in the relationship with Tehran suggested anything about an agreement would be enforceable.