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September 4th, 2014
05:59 PM ET

Lt. Gen.: Airstrikes won't be enough against ISIS

(CNN) – The U.S. cannot take out ISIS with airstrikes alone, says Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero (Ret.), who served three tours in Iraq and now works on oil and gas projects in the country.

"This action will be relatively ineffective in producing the desired effect of seriously degrading the ISIS network ... You cannot airstrike your way out of an insurgency. And no amount of isolated airstrikes will turn the current tactical situation in Iraq and produce decisive effects," Barbero wrote in a June op-ed.

"There's a myth in Washington that air strikes, drone strikes, we can solve anything or any problem. And it requires something to dislodge ISIS from the occupied areas. Airstrikes won't do it," Barbero said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

"ISIS is very smart. Their leadership will adapt and they'll move into the cities. They'll hunker down and change the way they move around and go for the targets they think they can get to," he said.

Barbero stopped shorting of saying the U.S. needs to send in ground troops, suggesting instead that the U.S. should enable troops already on the front line, such as Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters.

"We need to do more to train, equip and mentor them, not take on the fighting for them," he said.

For more of our interview with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, check out the video above.

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