Politics

First Head of Homeland Security: Barack Obama Needs To 'Put Commander In Chief Hat On'

| by Alexander Rubinstein

Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security believes President Barack Obama needs to show more leadership in the fight against Islamic State group.

Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania, was appointed to the head of the DHS by former President George W. Bush after the office was established in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Speaking on “The Cats Roundtable” on AM 970 in New York with host John Catsimatidis, Ridge said Obama is bungling the fight against global terrorism and that he is not working hard enough to stop the Islamic State group, The Hill reports.

“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,” Ridge said.

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“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.”

“Press conferences outside the Pentagon don’t cut it,” Ridge said. “I want my president to lead, not just talk about it.”

On the shortfalls of Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy, Ridge said, “Airstrikes are not going to get it done. It’s a whack-a-mole strategy. They need to be degraded and destroyed.”

In June, Obama acknowledged at the G7 summit in Germany that, “We don’t yet have a complete strategy,” reports Press TV.

A strategy, Obama said, would require “commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well about how that recruitment takes place, how that training takes place.”

The president has stated on multiple occasions that the U.S. does not have a cohesive strategy for confronting the group, reports The Washington Free Beacon.

Ridge thinks Obama should organize a coalition of Arab allies to turn the tide against extremism. “It’s in the best interest, it’s in their backyards and ISIS (Islamic State group) is killing their citizens,” Ridge said. “I’d like to think there’s a common interest in eliminating (Islamic state Group).”

In early July, Obama spoke to the press from the Pentagon, saying, “In order for us to defeat terrorist groups like (Islamic State group) and Al-Qaeda is going to also require us to discredit their ideology, the twisted thinking that draws vulnerable people into their ranks.”

“This broader challenge of countering violent extremism is not simply a military effort.”

Obama said, “Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas and more attractive and more compelling vision,” reports The Washington Free Beacon.

Sources: The Hill, The Washington Free Beacon (2), Press TV, Wikipedia  / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons