Former President Bill Clinton endorsed the U.S.’ current approach to targeting the extremist group Islamic State (ISIS) on Thursday in an interview with Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
Clinton argued that the current Iraqi government includes moderate Sunni leaders who are a key to defeating ISIS, which has overrun portions of both that country and Syria.
“We can’t win a ground war in Iraq — we proved that,” Clinton told Stewart. “But they can. And we can help them win it. And that’s gotta be what we’re trying to do.”
Current President Barack Obama has said that nearly 40 countries have joined the U.S.’ efforts to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS without the need to have American troops fighting on the ground in Iraq.
“We can give [the Iraqis] intelligence, and we can do bombing — and we have to do that to send a signal to [ISIS], there’s a price for decapitating those two people,” Clinton said. “You can’t let people get away with that. It’s a terrible signal to the world.”
Clinton also argued that the U.S. needs to be more inclusive moving forward, since power around the world is more diffuse now, partly because of the “explosion of information technology.”
“The good news is, we can give cell phones to fishermen in Indonesia in the aftermath of [a] tsunami, and their income goes up 30 percent because for the first time in their lives, they know what the real price of fish is,” he explained. “The bad news is, the same technology can go to ISIS, and they can become adroit on social media, and all of a sudden you see two Austrian teenage girls picked up at the airport trying to go there and blow people up for them.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Thursday, below.