Obama changes strategy again to defeat Islamic State

President Obama visited the Pentagon to talk with senior military brass about the campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.  When he faced the press afterward, the president announced his third iteration of anti-ISIS strategy in two years, this time emphasizing PR and propaganda as weapons to defeat the terrorists.

ABC News:

There's a cause, a coalition that's united countries across the globe, some 60 nations including Arab partners,” Obama said, flanked by his top military advisers at the Pentagon briefing room. “Our comprehensive strategy against ISIL is harnessing all elements of American power across our government — military, intelligence, diplomatic, economic development, and perhaps most importantly the power of our values.

While the vast majority of the coalition's airstrikes have focused on targets in Iraq, Obama also signaled a growing emphasis on targets in Syria.

"Indeed, we're intensifying our efforts against ISIL's base in Syria," he said. "Our airstrikes will continue to target the oil and gas facilities that fund so much of their operations.”

Although the president exuded confidence in the revised blueprint, he warned that victory will not come quickly and will require the collaboration of opposition forces that have sometimes been hesitant to join fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL.

“This will not be quick. This is a long-term campaign. ISIL is opportunistic, and it is nimble,” he said. “It will take time to root them out and doing so must be the job of local forces on the ground, with training and air support from our coalition.”

Obama asserted that ISIS is “surrounded by countries and communities committed to its destruction” but overcoming the Islamic State’s grip on power will require more than a military effort.

“In short, ISIL's recent losses in both Syria and Iraq prove that ISIL can and will be defeated,” Obama said.

“Our strategy recognizes that no amount of military force will end the terror that is ISIL unless it's matched by a broader effort, political and economic, that addresses the underlying conditions that have allowed ISIL to gain traction,” he added. “They have filled a void and we have to make sure that, as we push them out, that void is filled.”

The Islamic State is growing in power and influence in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  It has hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of sympathizers around the world.  The president made no mention of how we are going to combat ISIS in those countries, nor even how to wield our "values" as a weapon.  People who join the Islamic State have already rejected Western values, so what's the plan, Barry? 

First, we were going to ally with and train "moderate" Syrian rebels.  Then, when we couldn't find any of those, we were going to train Islamists who weren't quite as radical as ISIS.  That policy, too, is failing, hence this third go-around in developing some kind of strategy that will at least check he Islamic State's advance until after Obama leaves office.

The president, says John McCain, is delusional:

"President Obama's comments today reveal the disturbing degree of self-delusion that characterizes the Administration’s campaign," McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. "None of the so-called progress that the President cited suggests that we are on a path to success, and when you are not winning in warfare, you are losing."
Getting at the "underlying causes" of jihadism has been Obama's strategy for years.  Give a terrorist a job, and the problem will go away.  If that isn't "self-delusion," I don't know what is.

President Obama visited the Pentagon to talk with senior military brass about the campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.  When he faced the press afterward, the president announced his third iteration of anti-ISIS strategy in two years, this time emphasizing PR and propaganda as weapons to defeat the terrorists.

ABC News:

There's a cause, a coalition that's united countries across the globe, some 60 nations including Arab partners,” Obama said, flanked by his top military advisers at the Pentagon briefing room. “Our comprehensive strategy against ISIL is harnessing all elements of American power across our government — military, intelligence, diplomatic, economic development, and perhaps most importantly the power of our values.

While the vast majority of the coalition's airstrikes have focused on targets in Iraq, Obama also signaled a growing emphasis on targets in Syria.

"Indeed, we're intensifying our efforts against ISIL's base in Syria," he said. "Our airstrikes will continue to target the oil and gas facilities that fund so much of their operations.”

Although the president exuded confidence in the revised blueprint, he warned that victory will not come quickly and will require the collaboration of opposition forces that have sometimes been hesitant to join fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL.

“This will not be quick. This is a long-term campaign. ISIL is opportunistic, and it is nimble,” he said. “It will take time to root them out and doing so must be the job of local forces on the ground, with training and air support from our coalition.”

Obama asserted that ISIS is “surrounded by countries and communities committed to its destruction” but overcoming the Islamic State’s grip on power will require more than a military effort.

“In short, ISIL's recent losses in both Syria and Iraq prove that ISIL can and will be defeated,” Obama said.

“Our strategy recognizes that no amount of military force will end the terror that is ISIL unless it's matched by a broader effort, political and economic, that addresses the underlying conditions that have allowed ISIL to gain traction,” he added. “They have filled a void and we have to make sure that, as we push them out, that void is filled.”

The Islamic State is growing in power and influence in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  It has hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of sympathizers around the world.  The president made no mention of how we are going to combat ISIS in those countries, nor even how to wield our "values" as a weapon.  People who join the Islamic State have already rejected Western values, so what's the plan, Barry? 

First, we were going to ally with and train "moderate" Syrian rebels.  Then, when we couldn't find any of those, we were going to train Islamists who weren't quite as radical as ISIS.  That policy, too, is failing, hence this third go-around in developing some kind of strategy that will at least check he Islamic State's advance until after Obama leaves office.

The president, says John McCain, is delusional:

"President Obama's comments today reveal the disturbing degree of self-delusion that characterizes the Administration’s campaign," McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. "None of the so-called progress that the President cited suggests that we are on a path to success, and when you are not winning in warfare, you are losing."
Getting at the "underlying causes" of jihadism has been Obama's strategy for years.  Give a terrorist a job, and the problem will go away.  If that isn't "self-delusion," I don't know what is.