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September 12th, 2014
06:19 PM ET

Fmr. NSA director: Airstrikes are like 'casual sex' – gratifying, with no commitment

(CNN) – A former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency is criticizing President Obama's strategy to defeat ISIS, using a rather memorable analogy likening U.S. airstrikes to casual sex.

"The reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex," retired Gen. Michael Hayden told U.S. News.

"The use of air power, for want of a better term, was very gratifying. But the President limited his commitment. He said a lot of things we will not do, including American ground forces," said Hayden.

When Obama said Wednesday that the strategy against ISIS will not include American ground forces, the audience for those comments was the American people, said Hayden.

"But there are other audiences – our allies and our enemies. They view that as limiting our commitment to this enterprise ... (and) limited enthusiasm on the part of our allies to take up the role we said we would refuse to do," said the retired general.

In that sense, limiting the strategy to air power has all the gratification of casual sex, with no commitment.

"And other people read the lack of commitment," said Hayden. "People don't question American power. What people need to be convinced of is American will."

For more of our interview with Gen. Micheal Hayden, check out the video above.

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