'Boots on the ground' needed to defeat ISIS, former Fort Bragg commander says
Posted March 24, 2015
Fayetteville, N.C. — If the United States wants to defeat ISIS, it will require boots on the ground, a former Fort Bragg commander said Tuesday.
Hugh Shelton, a retired four-star general and former chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, was in Fayetteville for a street naming ceremony in his honor. The main street through Park View Condominiums was renamed Hugh Shelton Loop.
Shelton, who as Fort Bragg’s leader led the charge to oust Saddam Hussein, said the United States made one mistake in not listening to its Middle East partners by replacing Hussein with a strong leader.
Fixing America’s current issue in the region, he said, will require fighting ISIS eye-to-eye.
"I don't think that there's any question boots on the ground are going to be required," he said. "Now whether or not it's our boots, or someone else's, but you know people, you lead from the front and people follow the example you set."
Dan McNeill, another retired four-star general and former Fort Bragg commander, agreed.
"Boots on the ground happens to be a part of that, and if they're as bad as everybody says, and it appears that they are, I don't think we ought to hold back anything," said McNeill, who was also at Tuesday’s event.
Defeating ISIS will also take a strong coalition of Islamic leaders to help defeat the terrorist group's ideology, Shelton said.
The group recently released a list targeting members of the U.S. military,
Shelton said those on the list will be protected.
"We take the necessary measures to protect those people that are on the list," he said. "They take necessary measures themselves to make sure they they're as well protected as they can be. But, we will go after them. We will go in on the offense, not on the defense. That's what they would do for us."