Start placing your bets on how long John Brennan will remain CIA director, because he just told Congress the plain truth on ISIS, and it not only makes the rest of the Obama Administration look like a bunch of chumps, it pretty much bears out what presidential candidate Donald Trump has been saying.
At a Thursday hearing on CIA intelligence activities, Brennan told Congress that President Obama’s campaign of bombings hasn’t had much effect on the capabilities of ISIS, which members of Obama’s Administration call ISIL.
“Unfortunately, despite all of our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm,” Brennan said, “our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach. The resources needed for terrorism are modest. The group would have to suffer even heavier loses on territory, manpower and money for the terrorist capacity to decline significantly.”
Earlier in the week, Obama was saying exactly the opposite, that the fight against ISIS is going swimmingly and making progress:
“Our mission is to destroy ISIL. Since I last updated the American people on our campaign two months ago, we’ve seen that this continues to be a difficult fight — but we are making significant progress. Over the past two months, I’ve authorized a series of steps to ratchet up our fight against ISIL: additional U.S. personnel, including Special Forces, in Syria to assist local forces battling ISIL there; additional advisors to work more closely with Iraqi security forces, and additional assets, including attack helicopters; and additional support for local forces in northern Iraq. Our aircraft continue to launch from the USS Harry Truman, now in the Mediterranean. Our B-52 bombers are hitting ISIL with precision strikes. Targets are being identified and hit even more quickly — so far, 13,000 airstrikes. This campaign at this stage is firing on all cylinders.
“And as a result, ISIL is under more pressure than ever before.”
Brennan contradicted the picture painted by Obama, however, basically pointing out that U.S. efforts have been fruitless.
Despite Obama’s ballyhooed aerial attacks, Brennan said, “Moreover the group’s foreign branches and global networks can help preserve the capacity for terrorism regardless of events in Iraq and Syria. In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda.”
(Of course, ISIS would never have been a major factor in global events if Obama hadn’t pulled all of our troops out of Iraq and worked with al-Qaida-connected mercenaries in Libya to fund proto-ISIS rebel fighters in Syria in the vain hopes they would take out Obama’s long-standing playground nemesis Bashar al-Assad.)
The most awkward moment, though, had to have been when Brennan talked about how ISIS agents were infiltrating the United States. “The group is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West,” he said, “including in refugee flows, smuggling routes and legitimate methods of travel. Furthermore, as we have seen in Orlando, San Bernardino and elsewhere, ISIL is attempting to inspire attacks by sympathizers who have no direct links to the group.”
Just on Tuesday, Obama was spouting off against Trump’s proposal to suspend immigration by Muslims into this country, until we can produce adequate screening methods. “That’s not the America we want,” he said. “It doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals. It will make us less safe.”
From what Brennan said, though, it sounds like Trump once again nailed the problem and the solution on the head.