ISIS blames bad intelligence for its success

Apparently President Barack Obama (D) isn't the only one who suffers from deficient intelligence officials.  Despite its seemingly many successes, even ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)/ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Lebanon) surprised itself by conquering so much territory so quickly.  Well, that's what the ever knowledgeable State Department Spokeswoman, Marie Harf, revealed  to CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"The president said, for a long time we've known about the serious threat from ISIL," Harf said. "But everyone, us, the Iraqis, even ISIS itself, was surprised by how quickly earlier this summer they were able to take territory in Iraq. They moved more quickly than anyone could have imagined. Assessing the will of a force to fight, the capability is one thing you can assess, but the will is a tough thing to assess. I know these are challenging assessments to do."

So challenging that even the ISIS/ISIL fighters couldn't assess their own will to fight and now, surprise! wherever their will took them, there they are.  Currently, their will of a force to fight, despite their inability to assess it, despite their underestimation of it, has taken them to the outskirts of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, after slaughtering several hundred Iraqi overestimated soldiers a few days earlier, according to a Christian Anglican vicar there.

"The Islamic State are now less than 2km (1.2 miles) away from entering Baghdad. They said it could never happen and now it almost has,” Canon Andrew White of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, a British-based charity that supports Iraq’s only Anglican church in Baghdad, said on his Facebook page early Monday morning. “Obama says he overestimated what the Iraqi Army could do. Well, you only need to be here a very short while to know they can do very, very little.”


The advance by ISIS toward Baghdad shows that the group isn't weakening despite U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq. ISIS executed 300 Iraqi soldiers last week during their march toward the Iraqi capital and attempted to break into a prison in northern Baghdad.

This attack is very significant. It is the first infantry-like, complex, and penetrating attack in Baghdad city by ISIS since the fall of Mosul in June of this year," the Washington-based nonprofit Institute for the Study of War wrote on its website, referring to Iraq's second-largest city, which is in the Islamic State's hands. "ISIS likely carried out the attack to release some of the pressure it is facing as a result of the recent U.S. air campaign targeting its positions. The attack also signifies that, despite the heightened defenses of Baghdad in the aftermath of the fall of Mosul, ISIS is still able to carry out attacks in an area where it is unlikely to have active sleeper cells."

But maybe this is another case of underestimation.  Perhaps ISIS does develop active sleeper cells and improves its intelligence gathering by assessing its will of a force to fight.  Who knows what successes they will have.  Maybe they'll surprise themselves by underestimating and surprising us.  Here, in the US.