Charting The Arc of Obama’s “Jayvee Team”

Charting the Arc of Obama’s “Jayvee Team”

Peter Wehner 02.04.2015 – 2:35 PM

“A former deputy director of the CIA said on ‘CBS This Morning’ Wednesday that it would take 100,000 ground troops to effectively respond to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. ‘Unless the coalition is willing to put more ground troops into Iraq and possibly into Syria, there is very little we can do to respond,’ said CBS News senior security contributor Michael Morell, the former No. 2 at the CIA [under President Obama]. Morell made the comments following ISIS’ release of a video Tuesday purportedly showing captive Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh being burned to death. The killing led Jordanian officials to execute two Iraqi al Qaeda-linked prisoners.” — “Fight against ISIS needs troops to be effective, Michael Morell says,” CBS News, February 4, 2015
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“The United Arab Emirates, a crucial Arab ally in the American-led coalition against the Islamic State, suspended airstrikes against the Sunni extremist group in December, citing fears for its pilots’ safety after a Jordanian pilot was captured and who the extremists said had been burned to death, United States officials said Tuesday.” — “United Arab Emirates, Key U.S. Ally in ISIS Effort, Disengaged in December,” New York Times, February 3, 2015
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“ISIS is going on the offensive in areas of strategic importance for the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] and Iranian-backed militias to deny such forces freedom of movement between Samarra and its environs and the eastern Anbar front.” — “Iraq Situation Report,” The Institute for the Study of War, February 2, 2015
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“The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has begun to expand its presence in the Syrian central corridor which stretches from the Jordanian border through Damascus to the central cities of Homs and Hama. The ‘central corridor’ is highly-contested key terrain for both the Syrian regime and its armed opposition, while ISIS presence has generally been limited in the area until recently… Over the past two months, ISIS has once again escalated its military and public relations activities in this area, threatening to divert both regime and rebel resources away from active fronts in the Damascus area in order to contend with the ISIS threat. This development may provide an indicator of ISIS’s broader expansion plans in western Syria and the potential response of Syrian opposition fighters to this expansion” — “The Islamic State Eyes Expansion in Damascus,” The Institute for the Study of War Syria Update, January 20, 2015
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‘“The analogy we use around here sometimes [in describing ISIS], and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,’ Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. ‘I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.’” — President Obama, quoted in the New Yorker, January 27, 2014

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