Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Obama | leadership | ISIS

ISIS Inaction: 'Bad Guys Are Winning' as Obama Hedges on Strategy

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 11:41 AM

Some generals lead from the front, some from the rear and some, like President Obama, lawmakers are complaining, don't lead at all.

Two weeks ago, President Obama promised a debate on how to conduct the war against the Islamic State (ISIS), but members of both sides of the aisle in Congress are frustrated that the president has yet to take action in formally requesting an authorization for use of military force (AUMF), The Washington Times reports.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told the Times: "The process should come from him. He’s the commander in chief. If he feels he needs this authority, he wants this authority, then he should be the leader. He should write down what he’s looking for in terms of authority and let us debate it."

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., told the Times: "I have always felt that we should be continuing on an AUMF, but it’s a little difficult when the administration doesn’t produce any witnesses. So either they want an AUMF or they don’t."

Bill O'Reilly, host of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News Channel, noting the recent beheading of Peter Kassig, 26, of Indiana, by ISIS, said: "The bad guys are winning and the president seems hesitant to do what's necessary to turn things around. He can talk all he wants. Meantime, Americans are being murdered."

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Obama's former defense secretary, Robert Gates, noting his belief that Iraqi troops need U.S. special operations troops on the ground in order to defeat ISIS, stated: "When you deny the military the authorities they require to achieve the objective, you leave them with a great sense of frustration," The Washington Post reported.

Bernadette Meehan of the National Security Council told the Times that "the administration continues to have conversations with members of both parties regarding an AUMF to suit the current fight and our current strategy against ISIS."

However, Graham says a written request is needed.

"I think he doesn't want to make that hard decision," he told the Times. "He doesn't want to write down on a piece of paper what he would like Congress to do because he's afraid of the left.

"I'm not going to do anything until he leads on this."

The Washington Post commented that "Mr. Obama appears to recognize the severity of the threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) and appears to be focused on the job of leading the fight against it. But if he continues to allow his ideological resistance to steps such as the deployment of ground forces to constrain the campaign, he will insure its failure."

Obama has stated that a final resolution on the approach to the campaign against ISIS "may carry over into the next Congress," The Washington Times noted.

The New York Times argued that instead of waiting on Obama to act,  Congress should take action immediately on its own.

"Increasingly, it seems as if the current lame-duck Congress will leave the issue to the next one," the Times wrote.

"The priority in the lame-duck session should be to pass a new and separate authorization for the war against ISIS."

Obama said during a recent press conference in Australia that he had no plans to send in ground troops against ISIS unless the terrorist group was about to acquire a nuclear weapon.

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Two weeks ago, President Obama promised a debate on how to conduct the war against the Islamic State (ISIS), but members of both sides of the aisle in Congress are frustrated that the president has yet to take action.
Obama, leadership, ISIS
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2014-41-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 11:41 AM
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