Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke at Mississippi College in Clinton Tuesday.
Hagel discussed President Donald Trump’s activity in the Middle East, and what the United States’ role should be in conflict.
“We have interest in the Middle East,” said Hagel. “We can’t solve the problems in the Middle East.. it has to come from the people of the Middle East, their leaders, their families and the citizens.”
Hagel said part of the problem of the Middle East is a hangover of sorts from British colonization, citing the lines that dividing the colonies didn’t make sense.
“People will use that feeling.. that ‘we want independence’ for evil..” said Hagel. “And it is also religious and historic… we can’t fix that it. It has to come from within.”
The threat of ISIS was also discussed.
“ISIS is a global threat,” said Hagel. “They are pretty clear on what their aims are.. to destroy any feature they can of Western democracies.”
The former defense secretary said that while the United States has been spared of the recent attacks seen in Europe, there is another threat that ISIS poses.
“Social media is a prime example,” said Hagel. “ISIS is as good at social media as anyone for recruitment, raising money… the sophistication of terrorists and their abilities is something we’ll be dealing with for a long time. ”
Hagel added that the military can’t fix social issues.
“Until countries can address their social issues,” said Hagel. “We’re going to continue to see this dangerous unrest and violence, terrorism.”
One president can’t solve all the problems, added Hagel.
“Continuing to bomb countries… using firepower, creates other issues, mainly refugees,” said Hagel. “No country in the Middle East is unaffected here… I think it is a good example of how all this impacts the world, because it does.”
Here’s the full press conference with Former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: