By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Oct. 2, 2014
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Retired U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba is a decorated Filipino soldier with over 30 years of service with numerous deployments including the Middle East.
He was the second American citizen of Philippine birth to be promoted to general officer rank in the Army, and was responsible for the internal Army report on abuse of detainees held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The general retired in 2007 and has since focused on advocating for Filipino World War II veterans.
Balitang America sat down recently with General Taguba to discuss his thoughts on the on-going terror threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“It’s going to be a long term mission because it’s an international and global commitment to get ISIS out of the way,” said Taguba.
General Taguba agrees with President Barack Obama’s strategy of using force through airstrikes without having more of our troops on the ground.
“I would think in my opinion that a lot of ground troops – and we’re talking large formations – will not end up being in Iraq again,” said the retired general. “The strategy would be a measured one.”
General Taguba believes that the support of different countries – especially in the Arab nation – is vital to defeating ISIS.
“Right now, having the coalition support this effort with the United States leading, is a good plan,” said Taguba. “Nobody wants to go back into having to fight that long war that we fought there.”
President Benigno Aquino III has directed Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario to meet with U.S. State Department officials to discuss details of how the Philippines can help the U.S. coalition campaign against ISIS.
General Taguba applauds this development.
“President Aquino and the Philippines have their own problems with ISIS and elements of Al Qaeda and affiliates they have,” he said. “Abu Sayyaf never disappeared. If President Aquino is going to make that commitment then I think it’ll be a good commitment, but he’s going to have to show some elements of action – in other words, personnel, logistics.”
The General also commented on the proposed “lone wolf” attacks – an intelligence bulletin that warns of radical Islamic extremists urging followers to seek out and murder U.S. military personnel at their homes.
“It’s just a threat,” said General Taguba. “They want to bring fear and intimidation to citizens of this country and I don’t think they’re going to succeed.”