I don’t know whether Donald Trump started claiming that President Obama founded ISIS so people would stop talking about the Second Amendment flap.
Whatever his reasons, Obama didn’t establish ISIS. If he had, it wouldn’t be called ISIS or ISIL because Obama denies it is Islamic in the first place. Trump is giving him far too much credit while continuing to do himself great discredit.
Nevertheless, the emergence of ISIS as a global force happened under Obama’s watch. As such it is more than reasonable to ask if this would have come to pass had Obama been able to renew a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government in 2011. Even if ISIS had come into being with American troops in Iraq I doubt they would control the amount of territory now in their possession, if any at all.
The fact is that the rise of ISIS caught Obama flat-footed. By his own admission, his administration did not have a strategy to deal with ISIS. He was too busy vilifying Benjamin Netanyahu and appeasing Iran to take ISIS seriously. Obama’s assessment of ISIS as the JV squad has to go down as one of the biggest foreign policy blunders any President has ever made.
At present, ISIS controls significant territory in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Created as a global caliphate, ISIS grand ambitions have been on full display with its attacks in France, Belgium, Germany, Canada as well as in this country with the attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando. Lest we forget the beheadings of American journalists James Foley & Steven Sotloff and American humanitarian worker Peter Kassig not to mention the rape and torture of American relief worker Kayla Mueller.
So while President Obama did not create ISIS, his policies allowed them to flourish. So long as ISIS remains a threat to the world, it will be an albatross around Obama’s neck.
Alas, Trump has created an albatross of his own.