Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you already know that the Obama Administration is and has been under fire over what critics cite as a lack of commitment to defeating ISIS in the Middle East. Last September, Obama laid out a bare bones plan that he believed would help defense officials “degrade and ultimately defeat” ISIS; but since then, the effort to destroy the insurgency has met with setback after setback, causing analysts and critics to label American efforts in the region as “timid” and doomed to fail.

Today during his closing remarks to the G-7 conference in Germany, President Obama hedged once again against questions about what, if any, plan the US has to help Iraqi forces defeat ISIS:

President Barack Obama said on Monday his top national security advisers were still working to solidify training plans for Iraqi defense forces battling ISIS in their own country.

“We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis,” Obama said during concluding remarks at the G7 conference in Germany, citing recruitment as a key stumbling block facing the central government in Iraq. Critics of the administration’s strategy in Iraq seized upon the president’s comments Monday, claiming they indicated a policy failure and referencing similar comments Obama made in August.


I don’t think that anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the art of modern warfare would suggest that the current strategy is a failure simply because it hasn’t led to a thorough mopping-up of extremists in under a year. The problem we’re currently seeing is that what we’re hearing now is almost identical to what we were hearing when the Administration first began to address the intervention back in August of last year:

From Time:

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse: we don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said of the effort to combat the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in its safe haven in Syria. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”

Obama’s comment that “we don’t have a strategy,” delivered to reporters at the White House before the Labor Day holiday weekend, prompted immediate mockery from Republicans — not to mention quick damage control from the White House.

“We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them,” he said. Obama said he’s ordered Secretary of State John Kerry to begin assembling a coalition to strike back at ISIS, while he has tasked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to present him with military options. “We’re gonna cobble together the kind of coalition that we need for a long-term strategy as soon as we are able to fit together the military, political and economic components of that strategy,” Obama said. “There will be a military aspect to that.”

Right now, we have no “clear plans”; are we “developing them?” Maybe. The coalition is cobbled, but it’s also eating itself alive. US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter blames a “lack of will” on the part of the Iraqi forces for the widely-reported setbacks. Defense officials are currently working up a new support plan, but it’s not ready yet; judging from what Obama said during the G-7 press wrap-up, it may not even be drafted yet.

Obama’s “we’ll get there eventually” attitude with regards to controlling and eradicating ISIS isn’t just irresponsible; it’s indicative of his approach to just about everything that doesn’t easily contribute to his forced legacy of “hope” and “change.”

Unfortunately, if this plan ultimately fails, it’s not just Obama’s reputation that stands to take a hit.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.