A retired army general on Wednesday slammed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for remarks that as President he will ask the US military to come up with a plan within one month to defeat the Islamic State militant group.
“I had to ask myself, what the hell does he think we’ve been trying to do for the last 14 years in terms of Al-Qaeda?” retired army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling said on Tuesday.
At a rally in North Carolina, Trump said that on day one of his presidency, he would convene his top generals and give a “simple instruction” to submit to the Oval Office “a plan for soundly and quickly defeating the IS” in 30 days, CNN reported.
Hertling, who served in the US Army for 37 years, called Trump’s orders “simplistic” and insulting to those working to defeat the IS.
“It shows a complete lack of understanding of the threat and the ways to fight it,” Hertling said.
“It’s a sophomoric approach to elements of national security policy because if he’s just calling in the military, he’s missing the point that there are several other elements of national security that will help defeat the IS,” Hertling said. He argued that the US has made some good advances against the group.
According to CNN, the Democrats have highlighted statements Trump has made about military leaders in the past, most notably criticising him for saying in November last year, “I know more about the IS than the generals do, believe me.”
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton brought up the line in July, saying that “No, Donald, you don’t.”
The New York billionaire’s comments came on the same day his campaign released a letter signed by 88 retired military leaders endorsing his presidential candidacy, including four four-star generals and 14 three-star flag officers.
The former military leaders wrote a letter backing Trump for President, which Hertling described as surprising.
“I didn’t recognise many of those names as being there in the fight with me over the last 16 years,” Hertling said. “There aren’t a whole lot of names in the fight against Al-Qaeda or several other forces.”
Hertling said that most of the names on the list were Navy admirals who were not on the ground during the war against terror.