President Barack Obama said the rise of the Islamic State was an unintended outcome of the U.S. invasion of Iraq
ordered by President George W. Bush in 2003.
"Two things: one is, [ISIS] is a direct outgrowth of al-Qaida in Iraq that grew out of our invasion. Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot," Obama told VICE news
The president said he was convinced that the U.S.-led 60 nation coalition
would "slowly push back [ISIS] out of Iraq."
Obama said the fundamental problem, however, was that millions of young "disaffected Sunnis around the world" with no education or opportunities had been handed a religious basis to channel their frustration.
"And we can't keep on thinking about counterterrorism and security as entirely separate from diplomacy, development, education — all these things that are considered soft, but in fact are vital to our national security," Obama said, adding "and we do not fund those."
The State Department has asked Congress to approve a foreign aid budget of $50 billion
for fiscal year 2016. Out of this amount, about $3.5 billion would be dedicated to counter the Islamic State
and boost humanitarian assistance.
The U.S. has historically spent about 1 percent to 2 percent of its annual budget on foreign affairs
Obama said, "We should be thinking about making investments there that ultimately save us from having to send our young men and women to fight or having folks come here and doing great harm," according to VICE.
Some conservatives are likely to take exception with Obama for putting so much responsibility on Bush for the rise of ISIS. Obama pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq in 2011, creating a power vacuum that the Sunni extremists have tried to fill, according to The Daily Caller.
He initially dismissed ISIS as a second-string junior-varsity basketball team
Reconstituted by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in May 2010, the Islamic State began as a satellite of al-Qaida in Iraq. Today, it wants to establish Islamic dominion around the world, according to The Atlantic.
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