Retired Major General Jim Molan says western military intervention has had “remarkable” success against ISIL militants in Iraq, but there is much more to be done.
Mr Molan said claims the US-led campaign had been ineffective were wrong, Fairfax Media has reported.
He said people needed to be “realistic” about how quickly the campaign could progress.
“You can’t say this is a failed strategy because it has not yet achieved ultimate victory – it has been remarkably successful,” he said.
“The aim of the airstrikes was not to roll back ISIL, it was to stabilise the situation.”
He said the airstrikes could contain ISIL until the Iraqi military was ready to go on the offensive.
An F/A-18F Super Hornet supporting the US led coalition airstrikes on ISIL armies in Iraq and Syria. (AAP)
However, he admitted training Iraqi security forces to that point could take up to three years.
Mr Molan led Australian troops in Iraq in 2004.
“The general populace have a view that all wars should be short and clean,” he said.
“The reality is that few are.”
However, former Chief of Army Peter Leahy said the West still lacked a strategy for combating the extremist militants.
He said governments also needed to focus on stopping radicalisation, through convincing influential imams to speak out against extremism.
© ninemsn 2014
Email your news tips