The Corner

Robert Kagan: Obama Administration Must Prove It’s Willing to Fight ISIS in Order to Gain Allies

Robert Kagan, a Brookings Institution senior fellow, criticized the Obama administration for responding to the threat posed by the Islamic State by working backward from what the United States chooses not to do..

“Of course soft power is important, but we are kidding ourselves if we don’t understand at the end of the day the people we’re fighting about don’t care about soft power, they don’t care about the international economy, they are using force to accomplish their objectives.” Kagan said. “In order even to accomplish these soft-power objectives, you have to prove that you are also willing to fight them on the ground and defeat them. That’s how you will get allies.”

Kagan also said he thought the American people think there are many ways of dealing with national-security issues besides using military force, but that groups such as the Islamic State only respond to force.

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