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  • ISIS Strategy: “Degrade and Destroy”? Try “Bluster and Blunder”

    When the situation in Iraq was at its worst during the George W. Bush administration, the president was universally panned for “staying the course” when the strategy clearly wasn’t working. But ultimately, Bush was smart enough to realize that a change would be necessary at some point, even if he didn’t know what that change would look like. When he was eventually presented with the “Surge” strategy, he rolled with it — and we more or less won the war because of it.

    But then President Obama came along and lost the peace. Hellbent on pulling all troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible, Obama was warned from what now appears to be every member of his national security team that he was making a mistake…yet he did it anyway. The rise of ISIS is precisely the scenario he was warned about and chose to ignore, and we’re now paying for the president’s blunder dearly. Let’s be honest; the “degrade and destroy” strategy that’s been laid out by Obama just isn’t working. We’re targeting empty buildings and essentially engaging in part-time airstrikes, while the worst of the worst terrorists are freely moving around the region and seizing more territory…including possibly Iraq’s capital of Baghdad itself — a true indication of the president’s failed air campaign.

    They do not seem to be degraded at all,” NBC’s Richard Engel told Meet the Press (see the video above). “Now ISIS is once again focused on Baghdad. [The airstrike strategy] is having an impact in that it has forced ISIS to change their target somewhat, but it’s certainly not slowing down the group.”

    Oh, wonderful. So what are we doing to rectify that? Well, now comes the infuriating part:

    Asked by Chuck Todd whether the Obama administration is “reassessing” the so-far failed strategy, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said, “No, Chuck. This is very early days of the strategy … we are not going to be in a ground war in Iraq. It’s not what’s required by the circumstances we face.”

    Apparently, what’s “required by the circumstances” is wasting a whole bunch of time and aircraft. What becomes more and more evident with each passing day is that Obama isn’t interested in degrading OR destroying ISIS. He’s simply trying to buy himself enough time with the terror organization so that the next president can handle it for him in 2016. But imagine how powerful ISIS might be two years from now. After all, just consider how quickly they’ve been able to rise to power in the first place. If our president thinks he can poke these thugs with his pinky finger for the next 25 months or so and then drop this into the lap of his successor, he’s taking a pretty massive gamble with America’s safety and security. But I’d expect no less from the guy.

    Consider what journalist Bob Woodward had to say about this fiasco on Fox News Sunday:

    This is a mess. Obama’s clearly gone through a wake-up call. He’s got to come up with something to do here,” Woodward said.

    Don’t hold your breath, Bob. Short of apologizing to Leon Panetta and rehiring him to fix this disaster, I can’t imagine what Obama would ever do to clean this up — and that’s the real difference between Obama and Bush. Bush realized there was something greater than himself at play, and even if it took him a while, he eventually had the humility to admit that things weren’t working, and he surrendered himself to the Surge. Bush put his entire legacy on the line, knowing that if he could somehow turn things around, the war wouldn’t be all for naught.

    Bush was willing to let history judge his decisions, whereas Obama wants his decisions to be judged right now — and he wants to be perceived positively in polls no matter what the crisis. But at this point, he’s found himself living in the worst of both worlds: a terrible strategy, and terrible poll numbers. Good job, Barry.


    Matt Fox

    Senior Editor

    Fox has history in broadcasting that spans two decades. From his early days as an FM host and club DJ in the mid-90′s to his later experiences in political talk radio, he has always had a knack for combining topical news with his love for popular culture. Those experiences culminated in his position as executive producer for several radio shows featured in the TALKERS Heavy 100. Originally from New York, Fox has made the great pilgrimage down to sunny south Florida.

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