Gates: Obama’s ISIS Strategy Is “Unattainable”
Intentionally or not, President Barack Obama’s current strategy for defeating and destroying ISIS is “unattainable,” says his first Defense Secretary, Robert Gates.
“…there will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy. And I think that by continuing to repeat that [there won’t be troops on the ground], the president in effect traps himself,” Gates said on CBS This Morning.
“I’m also concerned that the goal has been stated as ‘degrade and destroy’ or ‘degrade and defeat’ ISIS,” because it sets an “unattainable” goal.
Gates is speaking from experience. As Defense Secretary for both Obama and George W. Bush, he saw the United States military inflict “some terrible blows” against al Qaeda – including the killing of Osama bin Laden. But even after 13 years of warfare, al Qaeda hasn’t been destroyed or completely defeated.
Ironically, Gates indicated that the bluster of Joe Biden may come closer to the mark. In a speech earlier this month in New Hampshire, the vice president said that ISIS terrorists should know that the United States “will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice…”
Meting out some measure of justice – be it death on the battlefield or convictions for war crimes – to specific ISIS members is a realistic goal, if ground troops are used.
The confusing aspect about Obama’s current ISIS policy is that it is both too little (no ground forces) and too much (complete destruction). Untethered from reality, it’s a strategy that looks like it is set up to fail.
H/T: Weekly Standard