The “JV” is going pro. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed in Senate hearings this week that ISIS has chemical weapons and is deploying them on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq.
While a stream of videos have emerged over the past months depicting injuries consistent with chemical weapon use, this was the first official acknowledgement from the U.S. intelligence community.
In a February 14 interview with "60 Minutes" on CBS, CIA Director John Brennan echoed Clapper’s testimony, adding that “there is always the potential for ISIS exporting those weapons to the West.”
Oh, happy day.
Europe is already there. According to a European Parliament Briefing from December 2015, “European governments and EU institutions need to be on alert, and should consider publicly addressing the possibility of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological, radiological or even nuclear materials.”
Of course none of that WMD could’ve slipped in amid the 8,000 refugee per day invasion of the Continent. I’m waiting for haute couture gas masks to show show up on Paris fashion runways.
In a very short time, ISIS has metastasized into the most dangerous, lethal terrorist organization we’ve ever faced. The reality is that they are much more than a terrorist entity, they are a burgeoning State.
They hold vast terrain in Iraq and Syria, they generate vast sums of money, and their ranks are growing, including many citizens from the US and other Western nations. And just to make it interesting, ISIS has assembled an entire staff of chemical and physics experts bent on manufacturing their own WMD.
ISIS leaders clearly aren’t sitting around in Mosel and Raqqa, raping their female slaves and resting on their grisly laurels, they’re on the march. They’ve pushed into several countries beyond Iraq and Syria, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, and Algeria.
They also have a heavy presence in Libya, a state wallowing in anarchy since Obama and Clinton implemented their “lead from behind” doctrine. They took down a government, killed Qadaffi, and strutted away. “We came, We saw, He died,” crowed Hillary.
How’d that work out? Too bad they couldn’t find their big boy pants when it came to rescuing our men in Behghazi.
That myopic overthrow left Libya wide open for the taking. Which is exactly what ISIS is doing. But who cares? Its just Libya, a country full of sand, right?
Except that under that sand awaits the largest oil reserves on the entire African continent. Oops. Is ISIS listed on the NYSE?
And according to our intelligence chiefs, not to mention ISIS’s own threats, these troglodytes are determined to come visit us in our backyard. FBI Director James Comey already has stated that his organization has active ISIS investigations in all fifty states.
ISIS-inspired lone wolf attacks are already happening, see San Bernardino. Our brave men and women in law enforcement and the intelligence community are doing tireless and heroic work.
But as we know, the bad guys (and girls) only have to be right once.
The inconvenient fact for the Democratic Party (although you’ll never hear this asked of Hillary in a debate) is that ISIS has President Obama and Secretary Clinton to thank for their existence. Had Obama listened to the recommendations of his senior military leaders and left a residual force in Iraq, there would likely be no ISIS.
We would not now be hearing of their macabre acts such as last week’s public beheading of a 15 year old boy in Mosel for the heinous crime of listening to Western music. Much less sweating a chemical attack in the Washington, D.C., subway.
Such are the wages of making battlefield decisions predicated on political calculus.
Outside of the golf course, presidents seldom get mulligans, especially when it comes to national security and protecting the American people. The President can’t revisit his disastrous 2011 decision to go AWOL in Iraq.
But he does have options.
For starters he could finally call out this Islamic extremist enemy for what it is. He could articulate a clear mission and commit the resources necessary to cut out this evil cancer before it gets any worse. The dozen or so “check-the-block” airstrikes a day we’re doing now is barely a pinprick.
We need to be pounding them with several hundred sorties per day, augmented with special operations forces and forward air controllers embedded with Iraqi and Kurdish forces on the ground.
But that would mean taking ISIS seriously, something Obama stridently refuses to do. In his mind, changing direction now would be a tacit admission of a strategic blunder, something this legacy-chasing Narcissist-in-Chief will not face.
For Obama, ISIS is a nuisance, a pain in the butt that gets in his way of administering government-imposed social justice. In his recent State of the Union address, he told us that ISIS is just a bunch of “fighters on the back of pickup trucks.”
ISIS, not to mention al Qaida, Boco Harum, Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, et al, see their window of opportunity very clearly. They’ll all be putting in overtime until Jan 20, 2017.
Patrick Murray (colonel, U.S. Army, retired) was part of a military-diplomatic exchange program between the Pentagon and Department of State, where he served in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs in Washington, D.C. In 2005, Murray became the U.S. representative to the Military Staff Committee at the United Nations in New York under Ambassador John Bolton. After retiring from the Army in 2009, Patrick became the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in Northern Virginia. He is the author of "Government is the Problem." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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