Following the Orlando mass-murder, Obama gave a speech applauding the nation’s efforts to defeat ISIS. He made a series of statements after a meeting with his National Security Council to “reaffirm” that progress is being made.
For example, he said “we are making significant progress. … This campaign at this stage is firing on all cylinders. … ISIL is under more pressure than ever before.” And “ISIL continues to lose key leaders. … ISIL continues to lose ground in Iraq. … ISIL continues to lose ground in Syria as well.” And “As ISIL continues to lose territory, it also continues to lose the money that is its lifeblood. … ISIL is now effectively cut off from the international financial system.”
He continued with “ISIL’s ranks are shrinking as well. Their morale is sinking. … The flow of foreign fighters — including from America to Syria and Iraq — has plummeted. And “in fact, our intelligence community now assesses that the ranks of ISIL fighters have been reduced to the lowest levels in more than 2-1/2 years.”
However, this hopeful viewpoint is contradictory to CIA Director John Brennan’s remarks just two days following Obama’s statements.
“Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach… The group’s foreign branches and global networks can help preserve its capacity for terrorism regardless of events in Iraq and Syria. In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda,” said Brennan. “We judge that ISIL is training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks. ISIL has a large cadre of western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West. The group is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West, including in refugee flows, smuggling routes and legitimate methods of travel.”
He also said that the number of ISIS/ISIL “soldiers” have increased significantly. “We’re talking about tens of thousands of individuals,” said Brennan.
Unlike Obama’s optimistic remarks, CNN’s Carol Costello stated that Brennan’s report “doesn’t inspire much hope.”
As Obama’s presidency comes to an end, Brennan seems to be distancing himself from him. Although Obama is aiming to soothe the American public, he is doing the country an injustice by not being honest and taking the necessary action against the threat of ISIS.