Former U.S. Ambassador Weighs in on Middle East Crisis

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COLLEGE STATION- The first question posed to the panel at Wednesday night's roundtable discussion at George Bush Library and Museum was whether the Obama administration is doing enough to lead an effort to destroy ISIS extremists.

Former U-S Ambassador and Texas A&M Bush School dean Ryan Crocker says the President is off to a good start in a comprehensive campaign against the Islamic state, but he has a long way to go.
Crocker says, "I have spent enough time in war zones to know. You're not gonna win this one from the air. It's gonna take, and can degrade the Islamic state. The president says we're gonna defeat it, but we will not defeat it without boots on the ground."

Gregory Gause, the department head of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, believes the political pressure to do that would be great. "But the actual operational jobs that they can do are very limited and I doubt strongly they have anything like the political to send in the number of forces necessary. If that's the case I'm not so sure we should send anyone on the ground except for special forces."

Crocker says he met with both the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the country's Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for two hours in New York Tuesday night. He says there was no desire from neither leader to cooperate with the U.S. in this effort. "He was interested in talking about Syria and repeatedly warned about any U.S. effort and called our military strikes illegal."