Tag Archives: Syria

Richard Engel: Obama’s ISIS, Al Qaeda Comparison ‘Wildly Off-Base,’

President Barack Obama outlined his strategy to take down the Islamic State in an address to the nation on Wednesday, comparing his plan to employ airstrikes to take down terrorists while supporting partners on the ground to past efforts to take out terrorists in Yemen and Somalia.

Continue reading Richard Engel: Obama’s ISIS, Al Qaeda Comparison ‘Wildly Off-Base,’

Hillary Clinton: ‘Failure’ to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS | The Atlantic

The former secretary of state, and probable candidate for president, outlines her foreign-policy doctrine. She says this about President Obama’s: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

President Obama has long ridiculed the idea that the U.S., early in the Syrian civil war, could have shaped the forces fighting the Assad regime, thereby stopping al Qaeda-inspired groups—like the one rampaging across Syria and Iraq today—from seizing control of the rebellion. In an interview in February, the president told me that “when you have a professional army … fighting against a farmer, a carpenter, an engineer who started out as protesters and suddenly now see themselves in the midst of a civil conflict—the notion that we could have, in a clean way that didn’t commit U.S. military forces, changed the equation on the ground there was never true.”

Continue reading Hillary Clinton: ‘Failure’ to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS | The Atlantic

Anne Marie Slaughter: Don’t Fight in #Iraq and Ignore #Syria – NYTimes

By Anne-Marie Slaughter

WASHINGTON — FOR the last two years, many people in the foreign policy community, myself included, have argued repeatedly for the use of force in — to no avail. We have been pilloried as warmongers and targeted, by none other than President Obama, as people who do not understand that force is not the solution to every question. A wiser course, he argued at West Point, is to use force only in defense of America’s vital interests.

Suddenly, however, in the space of a week, the administration has begun considering the use of force in , including drones, against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which has been occupying city after city and moving ever closer to Baghdad.

The sudden turn of events leaves people like me scratching our heads. Why is the threat of ISIS in Iraq a sufficiently vital interest, but not the rise of ISIS in Syria — and a hideous civil war that has dismembered Syria itself and destabilized Lebanon, Jordan and now Iraq?

I suspect White House officials would advance three reasons.

First, they would say, the fighters in Iraq include members of Al Qaeda. But that ignores recent history. Experts have predicted for over a year that unless we acted in Syria, ISIS would establish an Islamic state in eastern Syria and western Iraq, exactly what we are watching. So why not take them on directly in Syria, where their demise would strengthen the moderate opposition?

Continue reading Anne Marie Slaughter: Don’t Fight in #Iraq and Ignore #Syria – NYTimes