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Committed Defcon three I'm -- Mack Brown.
You know decision for vast dark questions here and were sort of rebels who would we be supporting -- joining us right now is probably the world's greatest expert I have kind of contrasts on.
There's a senior editor of -- long war journal and its senior fellow.
At the foundation for defense of democracies who are the rebels are they al-Qaeda or -- acre campus.
Well you know.
Not being -- -- isn't al-Qaeda you know various mix of groups there from ranging from al-Qaeda affiliates to -- Qaeda affiliates to more mart groups.
But what we're -- -- -- -- big -- to argue that most of these groups -- -- and I just don't think that's the case -- think when you look at that the groups that are fighting on the ground right now.
A lot of them even if they're not al-Qaeda adhere to an extremist ideology.
And I think -- groups we really want to be sporting.
OK even general Dempsey chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said we have no guarantee that if we arm the rebels.
I'm even their fair they're very good rebels set their arms stay in their hands of parents don't find their way to movies were extremist groups.
What's your take -- that art is this something that al-Qaeda would go after once they get more rebels armed and.
Cellini hears -- -- all of these problems is it all Qaeda is -- -- on the ground -- -- Syria.
Are some of the best trainers and guys who were really responsible for launching operations even for other groups are technically al-Qaeda.
When and his allies -- -- -- Murdoch has expertise because they've been waging Jihad for so long.
And so what happens if we give guns or are -- or you know at their aircraft artillery anything like that.
To these other groups and articulate al-Qaeda there's no reason why can't gravitate to -- qaeda's hands especially because these guys have their trainers embedded all throughout Syria.
Okay now the secretary of defense and secretary of state have talked about the goal of the mission the attack on Syria would be to degrade.
The -- forces and the -- war making ability how would that benefit or not benefit the rebels and al-Qaeda.
Well I mean a prime would benefit both -- honorable panel pat that's part of problem here and there's no easy way to try and just help -- these good guys and not help the bad guys that's what the sole debate is all really about.
But the -- I have is it strikes right now are very.
Tactically sort of just a very ad -- tactic there's no real strategy behind and there's -- strategy -- ground game inside Syria permanently there's no there's no real.
Desire to it were some rule of the regime -- regime is a big source -- -- And there's no strategy at all for really combating the al-Qaeda linked rebels -- and al-Qaeda is actual Philly it's.
Remember Al qaeda's affiliates in northern Syria actually control.
Provincial territory -- -- northern Syria you can show.
Matt how much surgery that it actually control lobbing some missiles at a side does nothing about them.
What about the argument that what we -- and Libya is probably wanna do with Syria.
I say what we -- -- Libby is a good example how to do wrong I mean what will we did lose and provided NATO airstrikes near air cover for -- Under legitimate humanitarian concerns -- Lejeune in dietary concerns.
The problem is that we didn't processes we -- we each wee -- turn over a large part eastern Libya.
To al-Qaeda affiliated groups extremist groups which control and today.
You know I just post something right where I recently -- -- three in -- -- the group that was involving killing the American ambassador.
Actually run security -- -- today.
They actually had do security patrols all throughout the city today.
This is not something that you know providing air cover -- these types of groups doesn't really help people will be -- what ends up doing is basically empowering these -- on the ground take over territory.
Which is what happens time and time again.
We're coming after the anniversary of September 11 the united says this move warships into the eastern Mediterranean in part.
Presumably in a contingency for -- a strike against Syria but.
Perhaps also as a contingency just if something bad happens September 11 and we have another thing Gaza attack -- some.
What do you think is al-Qaeda is going to do.
On the anniversary well they're always looking for opportunities to strike us and and that includes anywhere around the world.
I think that the big prom Dicey Dicey over and over again is -- -- government since Ireland before -- and.
Willingness identifies the enemy in terms of what al-Qaeda really wants.
Our focus on is almost entirely on -- nowadays anyway al-Qaeda trying to attack us here at the homeland attack interest abroad which is an important legitimate concern we -- -- defense.
That's not what they're all about they are not just terrorists their political revolutionaries they are in process of the land grab for a large portions of North African Middle East.
This is a major concern in some of these areas there are no viable local allies for us to work with to turn back this -- -- When I say is -- that Lynn -- today is increased the for extreme to us tomorrow.
And this is the big gain -- strategic dean al-Qaeda and associated movements are playing right now.
Our game is very different were basically playing checkers trying to take off one piece here and there meanwhile they're contesting for -- -- countries including Syria.
Are they contesting for territory because -- -- -- his country is that I want to run al-Qaeda operations out of them the -- they're -- idea is basically doomed to build these Islamic emirates Islamic states.
In in trying to link up into this Islamic conflict to resurrect the -- -- the fell nearly point century.
Now this may seem -- to us in some ways it is.
But the problem is that this is very much their ideology and very much was driving they're fighting so we -- in January what happened the French had to kick al-Qaeda at a -- right.
This wasn't on anybody's radar until late 2012 -- basically there can take control two thirds of the country and force the French intervene here but they did.
You know -- -- parts of eastern Libyan Jesus teachings of the -- -- large part Yemen which up until 2009 people were talking about their ability do.
Really take over territory there -- data taken up territory in Syria.
You know these are the things we need to be focused -- -- that not just about attacking us a lot of their assets are actually devoted.
To seizing ground and I don't think anywhere in history of warfare has been a good thing when your enemy is able to seize ground.
That's for sure Tom just on senior editor of the long war journal the senior fellow at the foundation for defense of democracies and to my mind -- Greatest al-Qaeda expert in the country -- thanks so much for joining us.
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