tv Shepard Smith Reporting FOX News February 10, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
a zoo in japan. maybe it wasn't a real leopard. actually it was just a man, as you can see, dressed in a leopard costume. all set up as a training exercise to help zoo staff prepare in the event a real leopard does escape and other emergency situations. thanks for being part of the real story today, i'm gretchen carlson. now let's head over to shep. >> kayla mueller wrote a letter to her parents urging them to stay strong, telling them she will come home. today, kayla's parents confirmed their daughter is dead. killed while the islamic state terrorists held her hostage. in minutes, we will share kayla's handwritten letter with you, and we'll bring you specific details about her captivity captivity. details we could not report earlier because of our concerns for her safety. we're also expecting a pentagon briefing on the latest news. it's set to begin at any moment. we will take you there for live coverage. and this comes as we get confirmation that jordanian troops are now on iraq's border. what is about to happen there, if anything? plus as we fight the islamic
state, and keep an uneasy eye on the world's trouble spots we're taking a closer look at america's military readiness. is the navy fleet really shrinking? and what about the army the air force and the marines? just how prepared are we for the next fight? we'll get the facts. so let's get to it. >> breaking news shepard smith reporting live from the fox news desk. >> a very busy news hour ahead. we're following major developments in the battle against isis as we wait for the pentagon briefing to start, presumably momentarily. right now war planners at the white house are preparing to send a bill to our congress to officially authorize the fight against the islamic state. that as the family of aid worker kayla mueller confirmed that she did, indeed, die while the terror group held her hostage. according to the white house her family got word from her captors over the weekend. we still do not know when or exactly how kayla mueller died. isis claimed, of course, on friday that a jordanian air strike killed her. something that the american and
jordanian officials said they did not believe. today the white house says it's still skeptical. >> the information that we have that there is no evidence of civilians in the target area prior to the coalition strike taking place. and that certainly would call into question the claims that are made by isil. what is not possible to call into question is that isil regardless of her cause of death, is responsible for it. >> kayla mueller was in syria to help refugees from the civil war. she fed hungry children, she comforted the sick she pledged devotions to the syrian people. for that she became a prisoner of the islamic state and ultimately paid with her life. president obama today said kayla mueller epitomized all that is good in our world. reaction from her family and new information about her time in captivity coming from our own katherine harris. but first we're told the white house is ironing out the final details of the president's request for the use of force against isis. of course the united states and
its allies have already been bombing isis targets for many months. but president obama says congress should show the united states is unified by authorizing the use of force. that's led to a debate over exactly what lawmakers should approve. some republicans say that the measures should not rule out sending in ground troops if needed. president obama has said that he will not put any american forces into ground combat in this matter. but secretary of state kerry has said that option should not be off the table. sources on capitol hill tell us that the white house is working closely with key lawmakers to reach a deal. in the mean time united arab emirates has returned to the fight. the u.s. ally sent fighter jets to bomb isis targets, and once again, after u.s. officials say they moved search and rescue teams closer to the battlefield. the uae suspended air strikes after isis captured that jordanian pilot. militants later, of course, burned him alive. jordan reports it has carried out dozens of air strikes as
revenge, and right now, their troops are on the move. we have a map of that on the wall over here. fox news has now confirmed through a source that jordanian troops are lining up right on the jordan border with iraq right here as i mentioned during the last hour the spot through which so many american troops have gone into war from jordan, and into iraq. we don't know what those troops are up to, but if it's a strong show of force against isis, then so it is. but is there talk of movement from jordan into iraq for those fighters? there is not. it's fox top story, jennifer griffin is on it from the pentagon. how do we know exactly do we know exactly how kayla died or even when or where or anything, jennifer? >> well, shep, senior u.s. officials would not say what evidence mueller's family received this weekend that allowed them and the white house to confirm that she had been killed. the president put out a statement this morning declaring that no matter how long it takes, the united states will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible
for kayla's captivity and death. what is not clear from the proof of death sent to kayla's parents was when she was killed nor how she was killed shepard. >> what else are we learning about this buildup of jordanian troops on the border with iraq? >> a senior u.s. defense official tells fox news that jordan's movement of forces was not a surprise saying this is a routine occurrence, and that jordan regularly moved forces around their country particularly along its border with iraq. the reason this raised some eyebrows, however, were the remarks made by general john allen in which he indicated the coalition would back a ground assault by the iraqis into mosul in the coming weeks. the state department says he was misquoted. but there has been more coalition airstrikes aiding the kurds outside mosul. >> but fewer coalition airstrikes against isis, right? >> that's right. essentially jordan carried out three days of intensive airstrikes in northeast syria. they said there were 56 strikes. then the coalition went back to
its usual handful of strikes each day. i understand admiral kirby is about to -- >> jennifer thanks. it's important news coming from the pentagon now. let's listen. >> -- i also know that there's lots of chatter out there about the embassy in yemen. i have nothing to announce on the status embassy in yemen. that is for the state department to speak to. what i can tell you is that nothing's more important to us than the safety and security of the u.s. personnel anywhere around the world, certainly in yemen right now. we're always evaluating the security situation on the ground, and we're taking steps to mitigate those risks. as you know, state department has been reducing some staff in yemen over the past few weeks but that's really something for them to speak to. so i don't have anything new to say or announce on the embassy in yemen. and then finally last week i did inform you that on the 31st
of january, in a strike south of mogadishu, using unmanned aerial aircraft and hell fire missiles we struck at an al shabab network and terrorist group target by the name of yousef deek. i can confirm today that we know we killed him and an associate in that strike. we did not assess, as i said, last week, if there was any civilian or bystander casualties as a result of that. additionally, yesterday, u.s. forces in afghanistan conducted a precision strike in helmand province resulting in the death of eight individuals who include abdul rauf kadeem former taliban commander. and again, these are both reminders that we're going to continue to use all the tools at our disposal, financial diplomatic, certainly military, to dismantle al shabab and other groups, networks that threaten u.s. interests, as well as the interests of our allies and partner nations. with that.
>> a quick just follow-up on kayla mueller. is there anything that you have seen as a result of the proof that -- provided to the family that indicates when or how she died, and whether or not there's any relation to the jordanian strike [ inaudible ] >> the short answer is no. i wouldn't get into the specifics of evidence itself. but, we know that she's dead. isl is responsible for that death. but we're not in a position to confirm the circumstances specifically, either to timing or to cause of death. >> and on abdul rauf what is the understanding or at this point of the military of the strength the size the activity of the islamic state in avz? can you -- assess how broad that
may be and how dangerous? >> i would -- so let's put this in perspective. we talked about this in the past, that this is a group that does want to grow and expand its influence. you've heard from general rodriguez, general campbell that they certainly are looking very sharply to see if they're expanding in other areas outside iraq and syria. we know they have those designs. the way i would describe isil in afghanistan is nations at best. in fact i would say more aspirational than anything else at this point. this guy kadeem we assessed that he decided to swear allegiance to isil probably no more than a couple weeks ago. and he didn't have a whole lot of depth to any network resources or manpower when he did it. i'm not diminishing or trying to
dismiss at all the threat that isil poses. or wants to pose. what i'm telling you is here in this indication it's nation aspirational and that would be and that would be an aggressive characterization right now. so that helps? >> -- targeting specifically? >> he and his associates were targeted, because we had information that they were planning operations against u.s. and afghan personnel there in afghanistan. so, yeah. he was. [ inaudible ] no i didn't say that. but i said he and his associates were targeted because we knew they were planning attacks. and as i've said before up here, we got into this whole rhetorical debate about the taliban, and whether or not we're going to continue to go after them given that we're in a new mission. and i told you then, and this is proof of it today they're going
to threaten our interests, our allies, our partners in afghanistan. they're fair game and they're fair game. -- and when he was released he was released based on what? >> i don't have -- i don't have the records on this guy from guantanamo bay. yes he was released in 2007. he was released to kabul. the other thing that we've said and this is another great example because we had a long, you know discussion not too long ago about the recidivism, and particularly the issue of this one individual who re-engaged in qatar, and we said, they returned to the battlefield and to fight at their own peril. mr. kadeem is proof of that. >> after seeing such example like former guantanamo detainees who was released and went back to work with taliban, is the pentagon still convinced that
guantanamo should be closed? >> yes. the pentagon's position is that the detainee facility should be closed. secretary hagel has made that clear on any number of occasions. there's no change to that. >> white house press secretary quoted today on the record that the friday strike in iraq was coordinated with the u.s. military and that u.s. intelligence had no evidence that there were any sillians at the location of this weapons storage facility that was struck by jordanian f-16s. how confident are you in that prestrike intelligence? >> well, jamie, i would say writ large. let me back up a little bit. nobody exercises more care or caution or deliberate precise planning than the united states military, certainly when it
comes to air strikes. and so i can tell you without question that these particular strikes that we're talking about, a few days ago, were executed, planned, coordinated with the exact same care, caution, and deliberate planning method that any other air strike we've conducted in iraq or syria. >> when u.s. government says that they had information that there were no civilians at this location and go on to say, that this casts doubt on claims of isil that kayla mueller died in an air strike my question to you is how confident are you that you actually know what was at that site? >> well, what we have said, jamie, is that we see no indication we have no indication that there were civilian casualties as a result of those strikes.
or collateral damage. we've also said -- that's one. two we've also said that this was a legitimate target, a known weapons storage facility that isil had been using. we had hit it before. at least twice before that i know of. not uncommon for us to go back and hit another target. sometimes they go back and use targets that had been hit in the false assumption we can go back no one can use it. not uncommon for us to hit a target multiple times. we do not know the circumstances. surrounding her death. i said that. what i can tell you is that we still continue to see no evidence, no indication that civilian casualties were the result. >> in yemen other than protecting u.s. facilities on what basis are u.s. military still in yemen. have they given any indication to the united states that they would be willing for u.s.
military forces to stay in yemen doing the kind of missions they were doing before? or they ask them to leave? or what's the status of that? >> i'm not privy to or aware of any communications that -- between the u.s. military and the houthis. i don't believe there has been any direct communications with the houthis from the military perspective. let me get to a broader way of asking the question. that is that we still have special operations forces in yemen, we continue to conduct counterterrorism training. with security forces and we are still capable inside yemen of conducting counterterrorism operations. >> so who are the freining if the houthis are now in charge? >> i just told you. security forces. >> can you elaborate -- >> no the same yemeni security forces we've been training. absolutely. absolutely. yeah. >> about iranian arms shipments to the hoouth thinks? >> i'm not aware.
first of all, i refer you to tehran for stuff like that. we know there is a relationship between the houthis and tehran and we've been very clear on multiple occasions about our concerns about the tentacles iran has throughout the region specifically with support to -- to groups and organizations that aren't doing anything to increase stability in the region. so i don't know how, i don't have any threat knowledge of the specifics of that relationship but we know there is a relationship there. >> -- iran shipments to lebanon -- >> we -- absolutely. and we talked about that many, many times. we're concerned about any destabilizing activity in the middle east, particularly destabilizing activities by tehran. >> can you speak to president assad's claim that he's in the loop on the counter-isis fight in syria. what does that mean?
what's he talking about? if true who's telling him? and what does this mean for u.s. assad dynamics. >> let me try to be real clear here. we are now communicating and coordinating our military operations with the assad regime. we're not doing it directly. and we're not doing it indirectly. >> if i could follow up. is there a third party as assad himself claims that is doing it directly? a third party that the u.s. works with such as iraq? we're not communicating directly or indirectly. no this isn't a nudge nudge wink wink i'm trying to parse words here. i'm not wink winking either. we are not communicating directly or indirectly with the assad regime on military matters. i can only speak for the united states military, the pentagon
the defense department, i'm telling you, we are not communicating directly or indirectly with the assad regime on military operations inside syria. >> is it possible that iraq is communicating with the assad regime? >> that would be a great question to ask the folks in baghdad. >> i'm telling you what i can account for and what i can account for is our communications coordinate. >> isn't that the way the u.s. indirectly or directly communicates with iranian military inside iraq? >> no. >> the iraqi government doesn't share information with the iranians, and -- >> that would be a great question to ask the folks in baghdad. i don't know. i'm telling you we're not doing it. we're not talking to tehran. no i know but you're implying that we have some sort of -- [ inaudible ] some sort of indirect relationship or sort of allowing it to happen. we are not communicating directly, either with tie iran or the assad regime.
we're not doing it indirectly. and we're not trying to fasting tate or encourage some sort of indirect communications either. >> a third party is not doing that on its own for whatever reason? >> we do the very best we can everywhere we operate to protect information as best we can. >> the question about -- that there's no evidence indicating that -- strikes on february 6th [ inaudible ] >> i don't think josh said there was no evidence of civilians on the ground. he said there's no evidence, we have no indication that there were civilian casualties as a result of collateral damage. >> -- able to assess whether there are civilians given that you don't have ground troops can you give us some idea of again coming back to the question given that you don't have ground troops? >> there's this idea and that without boots on the ground you
have no visibility that you have no situational awareness. now i would argue that certainly have ing having reliable partners on the ground certainly helps that. they don't have to be u.s. boots on the ground. i think you can understand, nancy, why i wouldn't get into issues of intelligence here from the podium on how we -- how we come to make these assessments before we launch an air strike. >> so matters of substance have been hit now at the pentagon and i want to tell you what we have here. mike barrett will be with us in just a moment to analyze what we've heard. in addition our own katherine harris has some extraordinary reporting on what happened with american hostage who is thank you confirmed to have been killed kayla mueller. the details of her captivity, and the details that the american government knew and did not act on. she'll join us live mike barrett is with us live. breaking news coverage continues on fox news channel.
24 minutes past the hour now. the islamic state hostage kayla mueller wrote a very -- wrote that the very thought of her family brought tears to her eyes. but that gave her strength. what gave her strength was about seeing them again some day. the reunion of course, will not happen because hours ago kayla mueller's parents notified the news media that they've received proof that their daughter has died. in a statement her family wrote of their heart break at the news. but said they are so proud of the person kayla was, and the work that she did. the islamic state kidnapped kayla mueller in the summer of 2013. august, it was. today, the mueller family's statement includes a handwritten letter that kayla sent to them last year. in it she described the conditions of her captivity.
it reads in part everyone, if you are receiving this letter it means i am still detained. but my cell mates have been released. i have asked them to contact you and send you this letter. please know that i am in a safe location, completely unharmed and healthy. put on weight, in fact. i've been treated with the utmost respect and kindness. kayla continues, if you could say i have suffered at all throughout this whole experience, it is only in knowing how much suffering i have put you all through. i will never ask you to forgive me, as i do not deserve forgiveness. our catherine herridge reports she's known specific details about kayla mueller's captivity since last fall but u.s. intelligence officials have asked fox news not to report on them because of concerns for kayla mueller's safety and national security. those concerns, sadly, are no longer an issue. catherine herridge is on assignment at guantanamo bay in cuba and is there on an unrelated matter.
but, she's speaking to us from there because, well, that's where she is. what can you tell us about how kayla was taken hostage, catherine? >> we have very specific information, shep, about the details surrounding her kidnapping in august of 2013. that have been not been public until now. what we understand through our contact who had firsthand knowledge of the efforts to rescue the western hostages she was traveling with a syrian man who she identified to her colleagues as her boyfriend. they were traveling near aleppo, syria, when they were forced off the road by another vehicle. so simply put, kayla mueller was targeted for this kidnapping. the boyfriend was held for a matter of days and then released. this raised questions at the time as to whether he was some kind of bait to lure her into a trap. but that was quickly dismissed as he went back in to syria and contacted isis to try and convince them to release her. but we know now that that was not successful, shep.
>> kayla wrote about forgiveness. help our audience understand that what that's about. >> well forgiveness in the letter is about having her own personal faith, and coming to a kind of peace. that's what she writes about in the letter. we know through our reporting that she spent a significant period of time with the other western hostages. based on our reporting, between november of 2013, and may of 2014, the western hostages were moved largely in a group between three locations in syria. aleppo an industrial area called sheikh magar and also in raqqah syria. and her sigh sis captors felt so confident in her security situation that they were holding the western hostages together in the same location in some cases up to three weeks at a time shepard. and if there's one sort of positive piece of news in the
reporting today, we can tell you for the first time that during this period she was able to get a communication to the other american hostages, including james foley that she was not being mistreated, or abused by her captors. and that's really consistent, again, with what we hear in the letter that was released today, shep. >> catherine, how specific was the information about their location? >> this is some of the most specific intelligence that can ever be available in a hostage situation. even today we are not identifying the building in raqqah. we have that name but we have chosen not to do so for security reasons. but it was understood by the memo to the end of may of last year the building and also the layout within that building, based on some intelligence reporting on the ground what's really clear here is that there was some kind of disconnect between the rescue effort that
really had been sitting on the shelf ready to go as early as april of that year and a white house, based on our conversations, that wanted the intelligence to pick up even further. but this is the kind of intelligence, shep, which is called extremely perishable intelligence and that's a way of saying that you really have to act on it within 24 hours of receiving it. and by the time they launched the rescue mission for the eight western hostages in raqqah syria, the view within those responsible and involved with the mission is that the intelligence was really past its due date. it was really drying up at that point. >> why the delay in acting on that intelligence? >> well i can only sort of tell you what i know about the two sides of this. there's sometimes a view you get that piece of intelligence and you put a plan together that's just not how it works. in this particular case once the americans were taken hostage by isis a plan was developed by the
special operations command and that was essentially put on a shelf until they get that piece of information that they think is credible enough and strong enough to launch it within hours. there was a very specific information at the end. may, a location, a building, and even a layout of that building in raqqah, syria. but it was another six weeks before the white house finally signed off on that operation pardon me. i've gone many times to the white house to try and understand why they wanted the intelligence to build up further. but i think what's clear from my reporting now is that it was not a failure of the intelligence, it was a failure to act quickly and decisively on that intelligence, shep. >> that is truly disturbing. the white house said today there's at least one other american hostage held out there somewhere. right? >> well that's right. in the last hour i went back and looked at a transcript of josh earnest's statement and he
actually says cases and hostages multiple times. so that suggests to me that there is more than one. there is austin type who's been missing since 2012 but it's not clear at this point whether he is held by isis. we know about a european woman and of course that british national as well shep. >> catherine herridge at the southern tip of cuba, as the storm clouds build terrific i mean terrific reporting as always catherine. so nice to have you here. thank you. safe travels. >> you're welcome. >> while catherine was bringing us all of that, as astounding as what we just heard was, i just got a crazy bit of information in my ear. guess who called vladimir putin? that's next. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert. that would be my daughter -- hi dad. she's a dietitian. and back when i wasn't eating right, she got me drinking boost. it's got a great taste and it helps give me the nutrition i was missing. helping me stay more like me. [ female announcer ] boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium
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russian ongoing support of the separatists there. the president reiterated america's support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine. president obama underscores a rising human toll on the fight to underscore the importance of president putin seizing the opportunity presented by the ongoing discussions between russia, france germany and ukraine to reach a peaceful resolution there. the president emphasized reaching and implementing a negotiated settlement underpinned by the commitments of the minsk agreement. however, if russia continues its aggressive actions in ukraine including by sending troops, weapons and financing to support the separatists, the costs for russia will rise. wonder what vladimir putin said in response. that part is somehow missing.
set to officially ask congress to authorize the use of military force against the islamic state. the white house says the exact details of the request will come, quote, relatively soon. it could set up the first war vote in congress in more than a decade. ed henry has the top story at the bottom of the hour and he's live at the white house. explain this purpose of the authorization of the use of force. >> shep the main reason is to bring some clarity because in the fight against a ses the president's been operating under an existing couple of existing authorizations one from right after 9/11 the fight al qaeda and other terror groups the other one to fight the iraq war. the president has long said he wants to repeal that authorization, because in his eyes, the war in iraq is over even though some conflict remains on the ground. so this brings clarity. what republicans on the hill are saying they're fine with a piece of paper what they really want is a strategy. >> i'm encouraged that we're going to get an amount. we look forward to examining that. but the fact of the matter is that for the past six years, the
administration's consistent dithering has made the world less not more safe. >> aumf washington specific for an authorization for the use of military force a key detail that's emerging is suggesting the president will now put a time line on it no sunset 0 this would continue in perpetuity. a lot of democrats think there should be an end date here so it's not just an ongoing war forever and ever. that will win republican votes, though, if the president keeps it open ended. >> some of those questioning today was interesting to me ed the president had said the other day in a vox interview, v-o-x, that the media hypes these sorts of things. you and others pressed him on it. how did that go? >> interesting because josh earnest basically doubled down on the idea that yes the media is overhyping these stories number one and number two he also said the president was correct in saying that climate change is a bigger threat to the american people than terror. let's --
>> the point that the president is making is that there are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the impact, the direct impact on their lives of climate change, or on the spread of a disease, than on terrorism. >> porp for context the president did that interview a couple of weeks ago, just published yesterday but he did it before the jordanian pilot was burned alive, before kayla mueller had tragically died. nonetheless the fact they're suggesting this is not as big a threat as the media is suggesting i'm sure he'll take a lot of press. >> the word we just got from the white house that president obama called vladimir putin and said i guess in source stop it or else it didn't say what putin said. >> they're not telling us just yet but i think the broader message from the president that was very clear in what you read is that time is running out for
vladimir putin. there's two ways to view that. number one the president was saying angela merkel was just here yesterday slat mir putin is giving putin a wednesday deadline to come to the table and end this conflict in ukraine. and so what the president is suggesting is hey there could be more sanctions against russia which has already hurt their economy and "b" there could for the first time be the u.s. arming the ukrainians. something that has not happened before. however the president has been threatening vladimir putin for months and months now. the sanctions have been biting putin but nothing the president has said or done has gotten putin to back down just yet. so we have to take this with a grain of salt. >> ed henry at the white house. thanks so much. mean time lawmakers are debating authorizing this battle against isis. officially. america's top military officers are warning congress that recent budget cuts, they say, could threaten future operations. leah gabriel is a former fighter pilot herself intelligence officer with the navy speaking with her sources where does the military the military always wants more money that's not a
new thing. where does it stand on this matter? >> shep, a former senior defense official today said there is a growing problem in terms of readiness. listen to what she said the impact of those budget cuts is having right now. >> only half of the marine corps's home station units are at acceptable readiness levels. less than half of the combat coded units in the air force are fully ready for their missions. navy deployments have been canceled and only a third of the navy's contingency force is ready to deploy within the required 30 days. these readiness impacts are real. >> that's what she told lawmakers today. overall troop numbers are down almost 8% over the past five years. defense officials say their top appeal to lawmakers is to prevent another round of budget cuts that will go into effect in 2016 unless congress acts to stop them. >> you spoke with a top navy official about specifically the effect of this on that branch. >> i sure did and one of the things that we talked about is the size of the navy fleet.
and that can be considered a key measure in terms of responding to global threats. take a look here. the number of ships has been in overall decline since it spiked at nearly 7,000 during world war ii. the fleet now has fewer than 300 ships. the senior officer i spoke with said the navy will change that by the end of the decade. >> of course we would always like to have more ships than even projections but we need to get to 300 or more. and that's the trajectory of the current budgets that we have. and i think that's where we're going to end up as long as we stay committed. >> he tells me the bigger concern is being able to operate the ships that we actually have. >> as the people person in the navy i'm really concerned about the effect it's going to have on our sailors who don't get an opportunity to get out and train and operate like we need them to in order for them to gain the experience we need to take the navy forward in the future. those are things that are very difficult to recover from. >> and navy s.e.a.l.s tell me
under current anticipated cuts shep the navy has to sacrifice training operations and maintenance. >> all right lea, thank you. clearly we're at a crucial moment. the hope was there was a tipping point that happened in this disastrous loss of a jordanian fighter pilot. but where are we now? congress working on the authorization for war, there's discussion of putting boots on the ground think of what that could mean long-term. we'll bring in a member of secretary of state john kerry's foreign policy affairs policy board that's next. as the news continues. how much money do you have in your pocket right now? i have $40 $21. could something that small make an impact on something as big as your retirement? i don't think so. well if you start putting that towards your retirement every week and let it grow over time, for twenty to thirty years that retirement challenge might not seem so big after all. ♪ ♪
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you know we are engaged, as you well know, in the region in a long-term struggle with isis. and we have got to have congress and the administration on the agreed upon same page. and so, a congressional authorization as to the length of american engagement whether or not ground troops will be permitted, whether or not on the scope of it, geographic scope of our military activity is very important that the public have confidence that both branches of government legislative and executive, are together. so it's a good -- i think it's a good suggestion by the administration to have some republican support i hope he'll have democratic support. >> beyond that since returning from our very brief trip to jordan, i cannot even tell you how many people have said to me well it sounds like the jordanians are about to send in ground troops. today we get word that they're on the border. if there is one thing i can report with absolute certainty today to the people listening, it is that jordanian ground troops are going nowhere. of this we are 100% sure. it is -- do you have the sense
that people are getting us the wrong idea of what's happening over there? >> well i think so shep, and i think what president obama has been able to do is put together an effective air campaign in iraq to keep isis away from iraqi kurdistan. he's got -- we've got to double down in training the iraqi army which fell apart last summer in front of mosul. we ought to arm the peshmerga more agretgressively. and we ought to be arming the syrian rebels. here's where i think the administration clearly needs to do more. we've not been aggressive enough on syria in taking the air campaign to isis. isis is from syria. it built up its network of support there. it gets most of its funding from syria. and so we've got to be able to strike in there. but shep i don't see president obama putting american ground troops in substantial numbers into this conflict. i think he's right not to do that. and i'll bet that congress and the american people agree, so we're stuck with an air campaign but the ground component has to come from the arabs.
the sunni arabs opposing isis. >> but there aren't -- those people don't exist at this moment that i know of to help them. >> they exist in the form of the iraqi army. now you're right that the iraqi army literally disintegrated last summer. and so we need to spend some time and that's what the american troops are doing in iraq. trying to train them and get them back up to a considerable fighting force. what we haven't done however, is to make a serious attempt, and the sort of attempt to arm the moderate rebel groups in syria. there are some there to oppose isis. to owe pace al nusra we need to take the fight to those rebel groups to isis itself and i think that's the missing piece, because shep you've been in the region you know this is a combined struggle encompassing both iraq and syria. isis controls about a third of each country. you can't be successful if you're just focusing mainly on iraq. >> you mentioned the peshmerga the kurdish fighters in the north who've been so good historically and recently and yet because of stuff going on in baghdad you can't get what you
need to them. is there a way around that? is there something they're not telling us? >> well, i think it's been the american role really for the better part of the last decade that we need to convince the iraqi government, the iraqi prime minister in baghdad that they've got to have -- they've got to give their due and some consideration to kurdish interests. it's always difficult and the american ambassador in baghdad has played that role in the past and i'm sure is trying to play that now, the message has to be from a shiite-led government, or dominated government you've got to treat both the sunny as well as the kurds fairly if you want to keep an integrated, integral iraqi state. >> and they talk about doing have to pay the kurds and sunnis in an integral iraqi state. >> they talk about doing exactly that. the leaders say they are doing exactly that. all the evidence suggests on the arming of the kurds that is not hang. mr. professor it's great to see you. thank you. >> thank you chef. >> we will bring in a development officer with the defense department.
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updating fox's stop story. american hostage kayla mueller died in islamic custody. let's bring in an intelligence officer with us from washington. it was reported earlier in this hour, mike and previously that there was actionable intelligence on the location of kayla mueller and others that that intelligence expired. it didn't act in time, didn't get her. explain how that sort of thing happens in the system. >> sure shepp. well, there is really two type of hostage recovery missions going on out there. one is a sea side search and rescue. >> that is where somebody say a pilot goes down quickly. you want to carry out that rescue operation immediately because they're not under the controlled and enemy force yet.
unfortunately, the case of kayla fell into the secondary one where the bern is under the direct control of the hostage-takers. so you have to be very careful the rescue mission doesn't cause the death of the hostage. obviously, that would be a horrible outcome. nor do you want a situation like we had in mogadishu where you end up with soldiers bodies dragged into the streets. so i understand the tactical level of the caution is administration was putting in on that one. i frankly, without seeing the intelligence more closely am not able to say it was good enough to go in. >> i am looking at a lot of socialization, katherine's reporting is so on point. i see on social media today people are livid over this matter. i guess one truth we are positive of, we don't have every bit of information. >> yeah, that's right shepp again, i absolutely respect katherine. i know her, she's a great reporter. something like benghazi where you have your own troops under fire, you look at a different risk calculation and say, hell
with it, we are going in usually the hostages are if a basement or a secured room. you have to worry as soon as they hear troops coming into the building, they will take out action against the hostages and therefore, the mission would not be a success. there is a lot more you put into these hostage rescue situation, even though the american military have teams not publicly knowledged that do great work. this is a tricky one unless you can see the intelli. >> a lot of things make sense here, she was hit by jordanian airstrikes. that's a tough one to square. >> yeah, the sad truth is the way that the carefully worded statements that came out today is she died while in custody, things like that would indicate it may well have been a result of unfortunately collateral damage of one of the strikes. it's another one of those things. john mccain was a famous p.o.w. in eastern and his father was an
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