An expert, who has literally written the book on ISIS, believes the terrorist organization will “laugh” at what they heard in President Obama’s Sunday night Oval Office address.
Michael Weiss, senior editor with the Daily Beast and co-author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday night, contrary to Obama’s assessment last month the day before the Paris attacks, ISIS is not “contained.” “Strategically, ISIS is very much on the front foot. They’ve established affiliates or franchises in the Sinai Peninsula, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, the north Caucuses, the list continues,” he said.
Weiss cited the president’s own chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who testified last week before Congress that the terrorist organization is not “contained.” Gen. Joseph Dunford told Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Vir., that the terrorist organization has been “tactically” contained in areas in which they have operated since 2010, but added, “Strategically they have spread since 2010.”
The author noted that earlier this fall 50 government intelligence analysts came forward to say that Obama administration officials have been cooking the books regarding the true nature of the ISIS threat. “[S]ome analysts allege that reports deemed overly negative in their assessment of the Syria campaign were either blocked from reaching policymakers or sent back down the chain of command. Others claim that key elements of intelligence reports were removed, fundamentally altering their conclusions,” Fox News reported. The intelligence community’s inspector general is currently investigating the allegations.
Weiss said rather than Obama’s “self-congratulating” and “cheerleading” that he heard in Sunday night’s address, he would have liked to hear the president say, “Look, I screwed up. I underestimated the threat. I called them the jayvee team well after I was briefed and knew what [ISIS] in Iraq had been up to.”
The author gave his overall assessment: “I think [Obama’s] head is in the clouds, if he thinks this current strategy is going to succeed. In the last two months and change, ISIS has perpetrated five major attacks. Three of them have been in NATO countries, Wolf. This is not a contained threat.” Weiss added, “I’d like to see a little more realism and a little less rah, rah, we’re doing great.”
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.