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From No Strategy To Failed Strategy

- September 18, 2015

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS LEFT SEARCHING FOR ITS NEXT MOVE AS THE CONFLICT CONTINUES TO WREAK ITS HAVOC

The Obama Administration Is Now Thinking Of "Scrapping" Its Current ISIS Strategy In Syria And Is Left Searching "For Alternatives To Prevent The American-Led Effort From Collapsing." "The Obama administration is considering scrapping its effort to create a large-scale Syrian force to fight Islamic State as it searches for alternatives to prevent the American-led effort from collapsing, officials said." (Carol E. Lee and Dion Nissenbaum, "U.S. Administration Rethinks Syria Strategy," The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/15)

  • "Defense Officials Said There Is Widespread Agreement On The Need To Overhaul The Program, But No Consensus Yet On How Far-Reaching The Changes Should Be." (Carol E. Lee and Dion Nissenbaum, "U.S. Administration Rethinks Syria Strategy," The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/15)

"The Reconsideration Comes After New Disclosures Of Failures In The U.S. Strategy In Syria, Which Is Under Intensified Scrutiny At Home And Abroad." (Carol E. Lee and Dion Nissenbaum, "U.S. Administration Rethinks Syria Strategy," The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/15)

  • The Change In Policy Is Also Due In Part To The "Burgeoning Refugee Crisis Which Is Fueled By An Exodus From Syria." "The changes are being propelled by in part by the burgeoning refugee crisis which is fueled by an exodus from Syria and by upcoming meetings among international leaders when the U.N. General Assembly convenes this month." (Carol E. Lee and Dion Nissenbaum, "U.S. Administration Rethinks Syria Strategy," The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/15)

The Administration Is Facing A "Catastrophe" In Which Over 200,000 Syrians Have Been Killed In The Civil War, Waves Of Refugees Are Fleeing To Europe, And Russia Is Sending In Troops And Arms. "Either way, it underscored White House sensitivities about the widening Syrian catastrophe. With more than 200,000 killed in the civil war, a wave of refugees flooding into Europe, and Russia now flying in arms and troops, the president finds himself with a geopolitical and humanitarian mess that will most likely not be settled before he leaves office in 16 months." (Peter Baker, "Finger-Pointing, But Few Answers, After A Syria Solution Fails," The New York Times, 9/17/15)

  • The Syrian Refugee Crisis Is The Latest "Moral Horror That Has Captured The Attention Of The World," Which Is A "Direct Result" Of The Country's Ongoing Civil War. "To understand the Syrian refugee crisis - the moral horror that has captured the attention of the world - you really need to understand what caused it. These 4 million Syrian refugees are a direct result of their country's civil war, which is perhaps the most destructive conflict on Earth today, and which has displaced several million more Syrians within Syria." (Zack Beauchamp, "Syria's Civil War: A Brief History," Vox, 9/14/15)
  • The Syrian Civil War "Is Perhaps The Most Destructive Conflict On Earth Today." "These 4 million Syrian refugees are a direct result of their country's civil war, which is perhaps the most destructive conflict on Earth today, and which has displaced several million more Syrians within Syria." (Zack Beauchamp, "Syria's Civil War: A Brief History," Vox, 9/14/15)

A Top U.S. Military Official Gave A "Startling Admission" On The State Of The Administration's Failed Strategy

This Week, Top U.S. Military Official Gen. Lloyd Austin Gave A "Startling Admission: There Are Now Just 'Four Or Five' U.S.-Trained Fighters In Syria, A Far Cry From The Up-To-5,400 Fighters The Administration Had Hoped To Train In The First Year Of Its $500 Million Train-And-Equip Program." "But senators peppered him with pointed questions, forcing him into a startling admission: There are now just 'four or five' U.S.-trained fighters in Syria, a far cry from the up-to-5,400 fighters the administration had hoped to train in the first year of its $500 million train-and-equip program." (Austin Wright, "Senators Blast Top U.S. Commander For Upbeat Syria Assessment," Politico, 9/16/15)

"By Any Measure, President Obama's Effort To Train A Syrian Opposition Army To Fight The Islamic State On The Ground Has Been An Abysmal Failure." (Peter Baker, "Finger-Pointing, But Few Answers, After A Syria Solution Fails," The New York Times, 9/17/15)

BUT NONE OF THIS COMES AS A SURPRISE AS OBAMA HAS REPEATEDLY ADMITTED HE DIDN'T HAVE A STRATEGY TO COMBAT ISIS

Obama On ISIS Strategy, June 2015: "We Don't Have A Complete Strategy Yet." OBAMA: "And when a finalized plan is presented to me by the Pentagon, then I will share it with the American people. We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis, as well, about how recruitment takes place, how that training takes place. And so the details of that are not yet worked out." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Krün, Germany, 6/8/15)

Click To Watch

In August 2014, On His ISIS Strategy, Obama Said: "We Don't Have A Strategy Yet." OBAMA: "But I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet. I think what I've seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we're at than we currently are. And I think that's not just my assessment, but the assessment of our military as well. We need to make sure that we've got clear plans, that we're developing them." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 8/28/14)

Click To Watch

Clinton Has Continued To Support Obama's Failed Strategy

In February 2015, Clinton Said Obama Is Making "The Right Moves" In The Effort Against ISIS. "On the effort against ISIL, Clinton suggested during the Q&A with journalist Kara Swisher that there was little use in inserting U.S. combat troops into the fight and essentially backed the president's strategy so far. 'It's a very hard challenge, because you can't very well put American or Western troops in to fight this organism,' she said, in her clearest statement yet on the topic. 'You have to use, not only air force but also army soldiers from the region and particularly from Iraq. … A lot of the right moves are being made, but this is a really complicated and long-term problem.'" (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Hillary Clinton Tackles ISIL, Previews Economic Message," Politico, 2/25/15)

  • Former Clinton Advisor Neera Tanden, May 2015: Clinton Has "Very Clearly" Said She Supports Obama's ISIS Strategy And Says She Thinks He "Has The Right Strategy." CHRIS WALLACE: "What are the chances that Hillary Clinton is going to end up going -- criticizing Obama as being too soft on fighting ISIS?" NEERA TANDEN: "Hillary actually talked about this last week and talked about the challenge we're facing with the Iraqi army. Conservatives often tell us, you can't help people who can't help themselves. We have a big challenge right now. It's a serious challenge, which is the Iraqi army does not seem to be fighting for itself. That was a big challenge we've had over the last few weeks. We have to deal with that. …WALLACE: "So, does Hillary Clinton, and you are close to the campaign, feel that Obama is doing enough or that he should do more?" TANDEN: "You know, in her own words, she has said this president has the right strategy. So, you know, we -- that doesn't mean things won't change in the future, but right now we do not need more boots on the ground. We do not need more American boots on the ground. She said that very clearly."(Fox's " Fox News Sunday," 5/31/15)

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