Retired four-star General James Conway is a former Commandant of the Marine Corps and one of our best thinkers on military AND energy strategy.

During this week’s Pickens Podcast, General Conway told me that if we want to get rid of ISIS we need to arm and train the Sunni Tribes and the Kurds. If we did that, this thing would be over in a month. But the Iraqi government won’t let us do that because it is totally infiltrated by Iranians.

He told me that ISIS is the tactical problem. The strategic problem is Islamic extremism within the region that we now know we cannot stamp out. The leaders of the nations in the region now understand they are going to have to do this.

On energy, General Conway said the U.S. has become a puppet being manipulated by the Saudis. He said that the U.S. — with its oil, natural gas, and coal reserves — is the biggest energy powerhouse on Earth and yet we don’t have a national energy plan.

An energy plan is really a national security plan, he said.

I think you’ll find this conversation to be one that you’ll watch and listen to multiple times. To hear what one of America’s smartest Generals has to say, download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.