What have the consequences been of eight years of a president whose idea of victory is withdrawl? The Taliban, which was more than decimated from 45,000 soldiers in 2001 to 11,000 when George W. Bush was leaving office has seen a resurgence, with 60,000 fighters among their ranks by 2014. Meanwhile, al-Qaida is far from vanquished.In total, there are now nine times as many people killed globally in terror attacks (by all al-Qaida-affiliated terror groups) than in 2000.
Then there’s ISIS – the new kids on the block whose brutality is so harsh that even al-Qaida disavowed them. When their presence became known, Obama famously referred to ISIS as al-Qaida’s “JV team,” downplaying their brutality. As they proceeded to conquer more territory in the Middle East than any other Islamist group, that description quickly proved itself inaccurate.
He hasn’t “degraded and defeated” ISIS as he promised, but he’s at least acknowledging he was wrong.According to the Daily Caller, President Obama has admitted to underestimating the threat ISIS posed to the United States’ national security.
In an interview that will air in its entirety Wednesday evening, Obama talked to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about his administration’s failure to deal with the ISIS threat. “The ability of ISIL to no just mass inside of Syria, but then to initiate major land offensives that took Mosul, for example, that was not on my intelligence radar screen,” POTUS admitted.
Obama also doubled-down on his belief that the United States should avoid sending ground troops into Syria, calling the avoidance of a “large scale ground conflict… the smartest decision from a menu of bad options.”
And after all that, he concluded with a particularly ridiculous comment, in his final foreign policy speech as president — Obama reiterated that “maintaining American troops at the time could not have reversed the forces that contributed to ISIL’s rise.”So we’re supposed to believe it’s a mere coincidence that ISIS began conquering Iraq right as we withdrew?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]