This is exactly what ISIS would want Sen. Dianne Feinstein to say -- amirite, lefties?
"I don't think the approach is sufficient for the job," said Feinstein, a top ranking Senate Democrat who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "I'm concerned that we don't have the time and we don't have years. We need to be aggressive now." ... "What I'm saying is this has gone on too long now and it has not gotten better, it's gotten worse," [Feinstein said].
One key point she makes is that ISIS' footprint is expanding to countries beyond Syria and Iraq; she cites Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt's Sinai peninsula. She might have also added Afghanistan. Obama's former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is also criticizing the president's hands-off approach, effectively calling for ground troops to beat back the terror army's advance:
“I think the U.S. has to lead in this effort, because what we’ve learned a long time ago is that if the United States does not lead, nobody else will,” Panetta said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Panetta also called on the U.S. to commit additional resources to the fight against the radical Islamic terrorist group. He said air strikes will not be enough to slow ISIS’s territorial expansion in Syria. “Look, air strikes are great, you know, we’re hitting some targets, but air strikes alone are not going to win here,” Panetta said. “We’ve got to take that territory away from them,” he added. “It’s been a year. They’re still in Mosul, they’re still in Ramadi, they’re still in Raqqa, those are areas we have to go after in order to be able to defeat ISIS, ultimately.”
Panetta added that partnering with the Russians in this effort may be a good idea in theory, "but I don't trust them...at this time." He has ample cause for deep mistrust, but that hasn't stopped Team Smart Power from ritually humiliating itself in front of Putin. Panetta mentioned that airstrikes aren't sufficient to seize and hold ISIS-controlled territory. After the Paris attacks, some Americans wondered why the French military had so many juicy, obvious ISIS bombing targets to choose from. What have we been doing this whole time? A partial answer, perhaps (via the Free Beacon):
U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress. Strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets are often blocked due to an Obama administration policy to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The policy is being blamed for allowing Islamic State militants to gain strength across Iraq and continue waging terrorist strikes throughout the region and beyond, according to Royce and former military leaders who spoke Wednesday about flaws in the U.S. campaign to combat the Islamic State...[Obama's zero civilian casualties rules of engagement regime] is likely the reason that U.S. pilots are being told to back down when Islamic State targets are in site, Keane said, citing statistics published earlier this year by U.S. Central Command showing that pilots return from sorties in Iraq with about 75 percent of their ordnance unexpended. “Believe me,” Keane added, “the French are in there not using the restrictions we have imposed on our pilots.” And the same goes for Russians, he said, adding, “They don’t care at all about civilians.”
Taking pains to avoid collateral damage is the admirable and morally-correct course of action. This should be a major goal in any military endeavor; the United States targets bad actors, not innocent people. But at what point do extremely restrictive American rules of engagement directly benefit the enemy and constrain our military's ability to carry out its mission? A new CBS News survey broadly reflects other polling regarding President Obama's handing of foreign policy and national security matters: Just 23 percent of respondents say Obama has a clear plan to handle ISIS, with two-thirds saying the opposite. Half of the country now backs "boots on the ground" to combat ISIS, a shifting political reality that has tied Hillary Clinton into knots. Left-leaning columnists from Ron Fournier to Frank Bruni to Eugene Robinson have criticized the president's absentee leadership and misplaced priorities. Battered from all sides amid sliding poll numbers, Obama has ramped up his vitriol against the only enemies he truly relishes attacking:
Pathetic. Having repeatedly dismissed and underestimated ISIS -- sometimes deliberately so, it's been seriously alleged -- Obama's latest assessment amounts to another rhetorical shrug:
Contained JV team now "a bunch of killers w/ good social media." Also, expanding territory, US weapons, 30k fighters & ~$1.5B. #SmartPower— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) November 23, 2015
Evidence: Expanding territory. US weapons. 30,000 fighters. And close to $2 billion in estimated assets. Just some thugs with lots of Twitter followers, the president sneers.