President Obama has created even more trouble for himself when, after arriving in the NATO allied country Estonia, declared that his goal would be “degrade and destroy” ISIS but then moments later said that he wanted to make the terrorist army a “manageable problem,” according to a Wednesday story on Fox News. It is not the sort of forthright language that previous presidents have used when confronted with an enemy. It does reflect the cold, cerebral approach that the president views matters of war and peace.
The latest statement from the president has been met with eye rolling and dismay from both the media and the political class. Hot Air notes that Franklin Roosevelt did not want to make Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany “manageable problems.” He wanted them destroyed and the allied powers were inspired to make the thing happen. Ronald Reagan was not interested in managing the Soviet Union. He wanted it on the ash heap of history. And that thing was done as well.
The latest uproar comes on the heels of the revelation that President Obama was getting briefings on the rise of ISIS for well over a year, even during the time he referred to it as a “junior varsity team.” While the president and his people have claimed to have been blindsided by the sudden advent of a terrorist army in the heart of the Middle East, Pentagon sources noted that the intelligence that suggested otherwise was so good as to be “exquisite.” This has become a source of puzzlement. Bad intelligence cannot be to blame in this case.
There has been some suggestions on conservative talk radio that the president was not paying attention to the briefings, so he may have been genuinely surprised. That raises the disquieting idea that the president, unlike many of his predecessors, finds the idea of crisis management to be boring. The final term of President Obama has over two years to run its course.