Gingrich on War Against ISIS: "This Will Be A 50-Year Campaign"


WOLF BLITZER: Would you support a formal vote in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, for that matter, to authorize the president to go to war against ISIS?

NEWT GINGRICH: Yes. And I think that Secretary Kerry did not do himself any favors the other day when he couldn't just be candid and say, look, this is a war. We have people who are killing us in public, cutting off heads on videotape, bombing, doing everything they can. We're going to go back and try to kill them. That's what a war is. And I think it would be healthy for America -- for the House and Senate to debate not just for ISIS, but that we are determined to defeat radical Islamism, whether it's Boko Haram in Syria, al Shabaab in Somalia, it's al Qaeda in Yemen. Every time you turn around, they're all the same movement and they all have the same goals. They all will try to kill us if they can. And we need to resolve, 13 years after 9/11, that we are going to do what it takes to defeat them.

BLITZER: The president says he has the authority but would welcome a vote. But does he have the authority?

GINGRICH: No, there's no -- well, does he as commander-in-chief? Sure. Jefferson sent the Marines to Tripoli without congressional approval. But as a practical matter, I don't think President Obama wants this to become Obama's war. This should be the American people looking evil in the face, making the decision as a nation that these are bad people who have to be destroyed. And you only get to do that by having the Congress vote. If the Congress votes a resolution to destroy these forces, then the president's in a much stronger position. And frankly, this campaign's going to go on long after he leaves office. So it's very unwise to not have the elected representatives of the American people directly engaged and having to carry part of the psychological burden.

BLITZER: What do you think? Is this going to take three years? Is it going to take 10 years? Is it going to be like the war on crime, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, it's never going to end? What's your assessment? GINGRICH: I think, as a historian, my estimate is if we really worked

at it and we were really intense, it could take 10 to 15 years. But because our opponents also evolve and they have -- I think their minister of propaganda graduated from an American University. We're faced with people who are going to keep changing, keep evolving, keep learning. My guess is this will be a 50-year campaign. And as they become more horrible and the threat becomes more real, it will ramp up in intensity. It will ramp up in toughness. And ultimately, it will be a worldwide campaign because that's where they are. You will have no choice. There are over 10,000 terrorists from over 50 countries currently in the ISIS region, the Islamic State's region. That's how big the movement is.

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives