The nation’s top ranking military officer, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Capitol Hill in a recent hearing that ISIS has not been contained which is a complete contradiction of what President Obama said.
Here is what Obama told George Stephanopoulos in a televised ABC News interview in November: “I don’t think they’re gaining strength. What is true is that from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq. And in Syria, they’ll come in, they’ll leave, but you don’t see this systematic march by ISIL across the terrain.”
Obama made these remarks on Nov. 12, just one day before ISIS terrorists launched their deadly attacks on Paris.
Shortly afterwards, White House Deputy Press Secretary Ben Rhodes came out to clarify Obama’s remarks.
“They had been on the march in both Iraq and Syria for some time, but starting a year ago, we were able to halt that expansion,” Rhodes said, Fox News reported.
Underscoring the error of Obama’s statements during the Tuesday Capitol Hill hearing was this: Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the United States was sending in special operations forces to Syria and expanding its special operations presence in Iraq in order to battle ISIS.
The Iraq expansion, Carter said, will be a “specialized expeditionary targeting force,” with a mission to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIS leaders, Fox News reported.
Carter didn’t specify how many U.S. troops would be sent. Fox News reported the number in the range of 200, however.
Meanwhile, Dunford also clarified at the hearing that Pentagon chiefs only began meeting with top White House administration officials to discuss certain aspects of ISIS strategy a couple months ago, the Washington Times reported.