Col. John Farnam knows a thing or two about flying jets and dropping bombs. He did it for 20 years.
"If there's a target there, we're going to go strike that target," he explained.
The predators behind chilling beheadings, heartless burnings and mass slaughters are a target.
"It turns my stomach," Farnam said. "It's amazing how cruel people can be to each other and then the things that they'll hide behind to make it okay for them to do that. It just turns my stomach."
Farnam recently retired as the commanding officer of MCAS Miramar. This month, he could only watch as U.S.-led coalition forces blasted bridges, tactical units, buildings and boats. It unleashed more than 600 blows from above to take back Ramadi. As of Monday, the Iraqi flag is flying there again.
"[ISIS is] a well-organized, determined enemy, and they've got a grip on a large land mass in more than one country," Farnam said.
He said it is not necessarily just a matter of flexing more air muscle, which he learned during the all-out air attack on Kosovo in 1999.
"Warfare is a multidimensional thing," he added.
He said there is a critical combination of air power, ground fighters, intelligence and cyber strength.
"I think we are making progress," Farnam explained. "I think it is really a worldwide effort. You see all the nations joining in."
He thinks there is a long and hard fight ahead. It is against a bloodthirsty enemy, which has made vets like Farnam, wishing they were still in the fight.
"Boy, I'd do it in a second," he said if he was called on.