NBC News’ Richard Engel: Uh, Staying The Course Hasn’t Been Working, Mr. President

Posted: Dec 07, 2015 2:30 PM

In another analysis of President Obama’s lackluster address to the nation last night, NBC News’ Richard Engel, like The Daily Beast’s Michael Weiss, essentially threw cold water on the president’s four-point plan to defeat ISIS on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today.

“He’s already talked about staying a course that we’ve already been on, and it hasn’t been working, “ Engel said. He did credit the president for the first point of his strategy–going after the plotters of terrorism–which has been in the form of raids by special operations forces and drone strikes. Yet, it pretty much goes downhill from there.

Engel added that maintaining the training and equipping program for rebel forces in Syria “has been incredibly fraught with problems,” and one of the ways in which ISIS was able to obtain arms. The $500 million program has pretty much been viewed as an unmitigated failure, with Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey calling it the “Solyndra” of Obama’s foreign policy. As for sealing the border between Turkey and Syria, Engel added, “Turkey has been a major base for ISIS; that border isn’t sealed.”

Then, there’s this pie-in-the-sky notion of a ceasefire in Syria, which could bring Russia onboard.

Engel said, “That would be amazingly good,” which drew chuckles from the panel on Morning Joe.

“I think that’s pretty far off,” he added.