The Washington Times has uncovered what it calls "deep-seated doubts" among Pentagon brass regarding President Obama's strategy in degrading and defeating ISIS. This revelation undercuts the official White House line that would indicate a unified front between the president and military officials.
One Pentagon official, said to be involved in counterterrorism analysis, asked incredulously, “What strategy?” He went on to say, “We are now floating along, reacting to ISIS.”
The general consensus among top military officials is that the president will never activate their recommended plan of sending in ground troops, a strategy that is believed to be the only way to defeat this enemy. Although The Times could not speak of this dissent reaching the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of their sources said the White House is "running the campaign" and that has the Pentagon "furious."
According to the source, some of the White House strategy involves leaving fighter pilots circling targets for hours before they are approved to drop their payload, if they get approval at all. And though nearly a year of these surgical strikes have been underway, The Times states that "the battlefield outcome [is] no better."
“This is worse than pathetic,” their source said. He added that a more robust strategy "could defeat the Islamic State in weeks."
From the report:
Another official said a constant theme inside the Pentagon is that the White House does not seem committed to winning. The frequent public relations spin is that this will be a long process to take down the Islamic State when, in fact, officers say, it does not have to be.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn is quoted urging the Obama administration to take a more aggressive approach if they want to achieve their stated goals:
Unless the United States takes dramatically more action than we have done so far in Iraq, the fractious, largely Shiite-composed units that make up the Iraqi army are not likely to be able, by themselves, to overwhelm a Sunni stronghold like Mosul, even though they outnumber the enemy by ten to one.
We must engage the violent Islamists wherever they are, drive them from their safe havens and kill them. There can be no quarter and no accommodation.
Obama's former Central Command Chief Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis recently said, "Right now we have an America that is starting to reduce its role in the world. That’s not good.”
Former defense secretary Robert Gates is quoted telling MSNBC, "We're basically sort of playing this day-to-day."
But perhaps the White House remains confident in its approach, because what could really be so dangerous about a JV team?