Wednesday, June 17, 2015

WATCH: Rep. McSally Urges Military To Step Up Bombing ISIS, Take Greater Risks Re: Civilian Casualties

Arizona Rep. Martha McSally (R-CD2) today urged the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to step up aerial attacks on the Islamic State, even if it puts civilians at greater risk.

McSally questioned Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Ash Carter during an Armed Services Committee hearing, and then took to CNN to step up her attacks on what she calls the "incoherent strategy" to defeat ISIS.

(Click on picture above for video. Will open in new window.)

McSally wanted to know how many U.S. strike sorties were ending with the pilot not firing on their target, because of the fear of civilian casualties.  She quoted retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula*, and noted that the fastest way to end ISIS' crimes against humanity is to step up bombing. "While unintended casualties of war are regrettable, they pale in comparison to the savage acts being carried out by the Islamic State. It allows the certainty of Islamic State's crimes against humanity."

Gen. Dempsey would not give specifics in open testimony, but said concern about civilian casualties "is not the limiting factor." He also said he "couldn't disagree more with the retired General."

McSally is a retired USAF Colonel, and flew A-10's over Iraq in the first Gulf War.

ADD, 12:20pm: Rep. McSally's office has now posted the video from her post-committee hearing interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.  She emphasizes the points that she was making during her questioning.

*Lt. Gen. Deptula wrote a column in the Washington Post two weeks ago espousing giving U.S. pilots more leeway to fire on targets in Iraq.  He was debarred this past winter from conducting business with the Pentagon.

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