Hagel says risks of war with Islamic State far outweigh inaction, but war effort would not be simple, brief, or easy. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday (September 18) said the war against Islamic State will take a coordinated effort between the U.S. and its allies to be successful. He emphasized the effort would not be "easy, brief or simple" and would require a significant amount of resources. Hagel told lawmakers the war was necessary to defeat the growing threat of Islamic State extremists. "Destroying ISIL will require more than military efforts alone ... it will require political progress in the region, and effective partners on the ground in Iraq and Syria" Hagel testified. Anti-war protesters were removed from the hearing. The U.S. House of Representatives approved President Barack Obama's plan on Wednesday to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, but questions remain over whether it will give them the advanced weapons they say they need to defeat Islamic State militants. Hagel, who hoped to solidify support for Obama's plan with war-weary lawmakers said the plan involved risks. "There are risks in action and there are risks in inaction, but we believe the risk is justified given the real threat ISIL poses to this country, and to the region and to our allies" Hagel testified. U.S. fighter jets have conducted over 160 airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Iraq, resuming military action Obama and many Americans hoped were part of history when U.S. combat forces pulled out of the country in 2011.