Yesterday, the President reassured the nation that he has a plan for ISIS, but that it’s going to take a while to flesh out. Three years, in fact. Longer than he’s going to be President, coincidentally. But he’s definitely working on it.
This morning, the Pentagon and the State Department took to the airwaves to assure America that, while the President might still be working on drawing up the initial rubric for taking on a cross-border renegade force of radical Islamists, they have their own plan and it’s very much in place and they’re definitely taking this ISIS thing seriously, so please just ignore what that guy said yesterday because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
The State Department is pushing back against characterizations of President Obama’s recent comments that America doesn’t have a “complete strategy” to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“We do have a strategy, the president was referring to a specific plan to improve training and equipping of the Iraqi security forces,” department spokesman John Kirby said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Kirby told the panelists that the strategy covers “ends, ways and means.”
“The ends are very clear, we’ve said this all along, the goal is to degrade and defeat ISIL, to remove them as a threat in the region and frankly, around the world. The ways we are going to do that are through obviously airstrikes. We have to train and equip Iraqi Security forces, this is their fight on the ground. We have to stem the flow of foreign fighters,” he said, using the administration’s preferred acronym for ISIS.
Kirby added that the coalition forces need to work with the Iraqi government to ensure they are owning the fight.
Hannah wrote a bit yesterday about how the G7 has become an “in real life” sequel to Mean Girls, playing out on a global stage as most of the leaders of the free world gather to chat about important issues over curated cocktails and attempt to freeze Vladimir Putin’s training bra after he’s passed into sweet dreams of global hegemony, and the U.S.-Iraqi relationship is no exception to the drama.
Barack Obama noticeably snubbed the Iraqi prime minister as he was trying to get the President’s attention just outside of the G7 talks, and while he’s been unable to effectively articulate the details of his comments on ISIS, the gist of Obama’s position is that it’s Iraq, not the U.S., that’s ultimately responsible for the rise of the Islamic State. Never mind that our complete abandonment created a power vacuum the Iraqis were unprepared to fill, or that our troops’ sudden exit was the result, not of Obama’s swift and terrible dedication to a military pullback, but of a diplomatic SNAFU that left our military forces open to prosecution for war crimes. But until a new President arrives to clean up the mess, the U.S. is going to hammer home that it’s Iraq’s fault that they were woefully underprepared for the sectarian violence that ravages their nation.
He might not be wrong, at least in part, but his execution of the PR strategy has been spotty at best. Maybe next time, he should just don the tan suit again to ensure we completely lose focus on what he’s saying. It’s better than the way they’ve been handling this thus far.
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