Obama's 'new' ISIS strategy: Change the narrative

The president's anti-ISIS strategy to "degrade and defeat" the terrorists is undergoing a facelift.  There is no sign that the strategy is working, so instead of trying to come up with something new, the administration has turned to military PR flaks to "change the narrative." 

The Hill:

Military officials on the Operation Inherent Resolve task force have recently formed a working group to formulate a "new narrative," defense officials told The Hill. Separately, the Joint Staff has drafted its own messaging document. 

The steps are preliminary, and are part of a larger effort to better communicate the U.S.'s military strategy amid heavy criticism from Republican presidential candidates who say Obama is losing the battle against the terrorist group.

"To say there's no strategy is just flat out wrong," said Army Col. Christopher Garver, public affairs officer for the Combined Joint Task Force -- Operation Inherent Resolve.

"If you want to have a debate about it, that's good, let's talk about it. But there is a strategy," he added.

The new working group will look at "how best to articulate what it is we're trying to do ... and do it in a concise easy to understand way," Garver said. 

It is not clear who is overseeing or directing the effort, which appears to be internally driven within the military.

Still, the focus on messaging is in sync with the White House, which has said it needs to do a better job communicating the ISIS strategy to the public. 

"In recent months and weeks we've been encouraging principals across the [U.S. government] to get out more to talk about their aspects of the counter-ISIL campaign and to new audiences," a senior administration official told The Hill on Thursday, using another name for ISIS.  

Obama earlier this week in an interview with NPR suggested that the administration has not done enough to publicize progress in the ISIS war.

"There is a legitimate criticism of what I've been doing and our administration has been doing in the sense that we haven't, you know, on a regular basis I think described all the work that we've been doing for more than a year now to defeat ISIL," he said. 

"And so part of our goal here is to make sure that people are informed about all the actions that we're taking," he added.   

For the last seven years, we have seen this scenario play out time and time again.  It's not that the president's policies suck; it's that the White House hasn't "articulated" the policy correctly.  Hence, Obamacare is a disaster not because of the way it was designed and implemented.  It's a disaster because the public doesn't understand what a great and wonderful thing it is.

In a way, it's childlike and pathetic like a kid putting his hands over his ears so he doesn't have to hear the truth.  The refusal to accept responsibility for failure may be the most telling aspect of the Obama administration as future historians examine the record. 

Meanwhile, I doubt that ISIS cares much how the administration spins the war.  They continue to kill people and ignore the pinpricks that the U.S. military is inflicting on them.  I'm sure they care far more about Russia's efforts in this regard, as their military continues to hit vital targets apparently without much concern about civilian casualties.

The president's anti-ISIS strategy to "degrade and defeat" the terrorists is undergoing a facelift.  There is no sign that the strategy is working, so instead of trying to come up with something new, the administration has turned to military PR flaks to "change the narrative." 

The Hill:

Military officials on the Operation Inherent Resolve task force have recently formed a working group to formulate a "new narrative," defense officials told The Hill. Separately, the Joint Staff has drafted its own messaging document. 

The steps are preliminary, and are part of a larger effort to better communicate the U.S.'s military strategy amid heavy criticism from Republican presidential candidates who say Obama is losing the battle against the terrorist group.

"To say there's no strategy is just flat out wrong," said Army Col. Christopher Garver, public affairs officer for the Combined Joint Task Force -- Operation Inherent Resolve.

"If you want to have a debate about it, that's good, let's talk about it. But there is a strategy," he added.

The new working group will look at "how best to articulate what it is we're trying to do ... and do it in a concise easy to understand way," Garver said. 

It is not clear who is overseeing or directing the effort, which appears to be internally driven within the military.

Still, the focus on messaging is in sync with the White House, which has said it needs to do a better job communicating the ISIS strategy to the public. 

"In recent months and weeks we've been encouraging principals across the [U.S. government] to get out more to talk about their aspects of the counter-ISIL campaign and to new audiences," a senior administration official told The Hill on Thursday, using another name for ISIS.  

Obama earlier this week in an interview with NPR suggested that the administration has not done enough to publicize progress in the ISIS war.

"There is a legitimate criticism of what I've been doing and our administration has been doing in the sense that we haven't, you know, on a regular basis I think described all the work that we've been doing for more than a year now to defeat ISIL," he said. 

"And so part of our goal here is to make sure that people are informed about all the actions that we're taking," he added.   

For the last seven years, we have seen this scenario play out time and time again.  It's not that the president's policies suck; it's that the White House hasn't "articulated" the policy correctly.  Hence, Obamacare is a disaster not because of the way it was designed and implemented.  It's a disaster because the public doesn't understand what a great and wonderful thing it is.

In a way, it's childlike and pathetic like a kid putting his hands over his ears so he doesn't have to hear the truth.  The refusal to accept responsibility for failure may be the most telling aspect of the Obama administration as future historians examine the record. 

Meanwhile, I doubt that ISIS cares much how the administration spins the war.  They continue to kill people and ignore the pinpricks that the U.S. military is inflicting on them.  I'm sure they care far more about Russia's efforts in this regard, as their military continues to hit vital targets apparently without much concern about civilian casualties.