Did General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, soften his stance on ISIS due to White House pressure?
Dempsey told reporters Sunday night that barbaric jihadists carving a path of death and distruction across Syria and Iraq, were just a regional threat – not yet a threat to the United States which seems to be a walk-back of an earlier, stronger statement on ISIS.
Monday morning, the hosts of Fox & Friends, the hosts wondered if the Obama Administration had pressured him to change his position.
“For Martin Dempsey — and he’s a smart guy, he knows what’s going on — for him to say no Syria action at this point, and the fact that he was much more direct last week, you got to wonder whether or not politics from the administration is coming into play,” cohost Steve Doocy said Monday morning. “Where after he said the stuff on Thursday, somebody from the White House called him and said, ‘Come on. We can’t do anything right now.’”
Meanwhile, there are increasing calls among Republicans for the president to come up with a clear and decisive plan of action to combat ISIS (or as he and members of the Regime – but virtually no one else likes to call them – ISIL.)
Via The Hill:
“I get the sense that [Defense] Secretary [Chuck] Hagel and [Army] General [Martin] Dempsey understand the gravity of the situation. Candidly, … I don’t want to hear from the president how he’s reacting to events like the Mosul Dam,” the House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“What I want to hear from our commander-in-chief is that he has a strategy to finish ISIS off. To defeat ISIS,” Ryan said. “If we don’t deal with this threat now thoroughly and convincingly, it’s going to come home to roost.”
The former Republican vice presidential nominee was hardly the only GOP member to take to the airwaves to criticize Obama’s handling of ISIS on Sunday.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also had advice for Obama on Sunday calling on him “to expand U.S. airstrikes to Syria so the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) does not have a base of operation.”
“There is no boundary between Syria and Iraq,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.” “One of the key decisions the president is going to have to make is airpower in Syria. We cannot give them a base of operations. And we have got to help the Free Syrian Army.”
McCain said the recent beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS will hopefully work as a catalyst for the administration to define a comprehensive strategy in Iraq and other parts of the world. The United States has launched more than 90 airstrikes in Iraq against ISIS.
“This is an administration, which the kindest word I can use is ‘feckless,’ where they have not outlined a roles that the United States has to play. And that is a leadership role,” he said.
Democrats, on the other hand prefer Obama’s brilliant lead from behind, do a lot of talking and evaluating and wait until it’s pretty much too late strategy.
“We have to begin with the assumption that they could be such a threat, then we have to evaluate what their capabilities are, what their intentions,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
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