November 22, 2015

Obama-Clinton ISIS Strategy Taking Heat From Top Democrats

This morning, two former Obama cabinet officials joined the chorus of people now criticizing the failed Obama-Clinton ISIS strategy.

On Meet The Press, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the C.I.A. Leon Panetta told Chuck Todd, “Well, obviously there’s a lot of concern about whether or not we’ve deployed the resources to be able to accomplish the mission that the president described.”

Meanwhile, Chuck Hagel, who succeeded Panetta as Secretary of Defense, was also critical of Obama’s strategy. Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Hagel said, “My point has been that we need to more clearly define the political strategy along that should the lead the military strategy.”

Later on in the interview, Hagel said that he agreed with former Special Forces and CIA operations officer Michael Vickers, who in a Politico Magazine op-ed this weekend said:

“By any measure, our strategy in Iraq and Syria is not succeeding, or is not succeeding fast enough. We are playing a long game, when a more rapid and disruptive strategy is required.”

On ABC’s This Week, Democratic Presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley criticized Hillary Clinton’s record as Obama’s Secretary of State:

“GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Even though your poll numbers are stalled, you’re striking out pretty hard against Secretary Clinton. Yesterday in South Carolina, you say she’s demonstrated a total inability to understand what happens after dictators fall and what our country needs in its national security strategy. Total inability? 

MARTIN O’MALLEY: Well, yes, George. Can you — I mean, Secretary Clinton voted for the Iraq War — and notwithstanding what she now regards as a big mistake in that vote, one that — where she should have known better — nonetheless she finds it — you find these circumstances — I mean, can you point to one instance in our foreign policy where, as Secretary of State, Secretary Clinton had an understanding of what was coming after the toppling of the dictator? She can be very, very gleeful at the fall of Gadhafi, but there was no anticipation of what would happen after Gadhafi. And I also said yesterday that Secretary Clinton has one foot stuck in the Cold War.”

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman summed it up on CNN’s Inside Politics when she said Clinton, who was Obama’s chief foreign policy architect, will have a difficult time separating herself from Obama:

“For Hillary Clinton this is a much tougher line to walk. As you are noting, yes, I think what she’s saying can be heard as an implicit criticism of President Obama. But if you listen to the speech she’s not really that far off on policy where he is…So it’s going to be difficult when we get to a general election for Hillary Clinton, who I think is still seems very likely to be the nominee to argue this case and still separate herself from the President.”