JiHadists Building Strength Under the Radar
In an interview which was broadcast on Sunday, United States President Obama admitted that he had underestimated the number of ISIS, and the threat that the terrorist group imposes.
As CNN reports, “A week after U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria began, lawmakers continued to question President Barack Obama’s strategy for defeating the militant group ISIS, which he admitted in a televised interview Sunday was more powerful than the U.S. initially believed. Echoing sentiments also expressed by James Clapper, the head of U.S. intelligence services, Obama said the government “underestimated what had been taking place in Syria” during its civil war, allowing Syria to become ‘ground zero for jihadists around the world.’”
Speaking in a taped interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Obama said the terrorists were remnants of al Qaeda in Iraq, which after being diminished by U.S. forces “went back underground….Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos,” Obama said. He also stated that American had placed too much stock in Iraq’s security forces, “which were quickly overrun by ISIS when it took over the northern city of Mosul this summer.”
Obama: Iraq Squandered Opportunity
Fox News shared more of what the American President had to say of how Iraq failed to keep ISIS at bay. He stated that the United States had left Iraq after the war with, “a democracy that was intact, a military that was well-equipped and the ability then (for Iraqis) to chart their own course. However, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “squandered” that opportunity over roughly five years because he was “much more interested in consolidating his Shia base and very suspicious of the Sunnis and the Kurds, who make up the other two thirds of the country.”
Obama Calls Problem “Political”
According to the report, Obama stressed that the issues which America has in Iraq is not just a military problem, but it is a political one. He added, “This is America leading the international community to assist a country with whom we have a security partnership with, to make sure that they are able to take care of their business… If we do our job right and the Iraqis fight, then over time our role can slow down and taper off.”
What Do You Think?
Underestimating a threat such as ISIS can have very serious repercussions for US troops and all Americans. Do you think President Obama should have been more informed about the enemy before ordering strikes against them? Is he right in blaming the Iraqi Prime Minister? How should the situation be handled now?