9/11 Review Author: ISIS is Winning

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According to Bruce Hoffman, the lead author of the 9/11 Review Commission report, the current U.S. strategy on ISIS is a failure. Now the director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies, Hoffman used the anniversary of those deadly attacks to criticize the Obama administration for its lamentable war on the Islamic State.

After pointing out how much territory the terrorists had seized since being labeled the “JV squad” by a naive president, Hoffman wrote, “ISIL’s international cadre has also far exceeded the number that gravitated to Afghanistan during and the 1980s and 1990s. That growth creates the same conditions — but on a far vaster magnitude — that led to al Qaeda’s rise and the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., on 9/11.”

According to Hoffman, the problems with ISIS (or ISIL, as he calls them) do not begin and end in the Middle East. Well financed and well-versed in the art of propaganda, the group is almost certainly gearing up for a devastating attack on the West. Already, he writes, the group has redefined the nature of bloodshed that characterized al Qaeda. “It has committed more than double the number of terror incidents that kill more than 100 people than were committed by all groups in the entire 20th century – when there were only 14,” he noted.

Hoffman’s criticism comes as a slew of Defense Department workers have complained to the Pentagon about their intelligence reports being doctored before reaching the White House. More than 50 analysts have said that their superiors at CENTCOM are cooking the reports to make it seem as though ISIS is being weakened by U.S. airstrikes. An intelligence investigation has been launched to determine the truth of these complaints.

But bad intelligence notwithstanding, there is no excuse for Obama’s weak approach to the rise of ISIS. Obama has mentioned on occasion that he avoids the news, but maybe he should revise that habit in light of DOD complaints. Because anyone who has kept up with the ISIS story already knows that America’s airstrikes are failing badly. The U.S. may be successfully killing scores of terrorists, but ISIS is replacing them faster than the missiles can strike. The other fronts of the war – training Iraqi soldiers to fight for their homeland, for instance – are too miserable to even contemplate.

President Obama came into office as a self-proclaimed man of peace – a man who wanted to rehabilitate America’s reputation throughout the world. But what does it say of peace if it allows a group like this to commit genocide throughout the Middle East? No one likes the thought of putting U.S. troops back in Iraq, but how long will it be before this threat shows up on our doorstep? Have we already forgotten the lessons of that dark September day?

If we fail to destroy this group in time, they may refresh our memory. And the man of peace will have blood on his hands.