What difference does it make?11:42 AM, Sep 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
John Kerry argued that it doesn't really make a difference if we call U.S. action against ISIS a "war." He criticized the "tortured debate" this morning on CBS:
"Mr. Secretary, thank you so much," said CBS host Bob Schieffer. "Can I clear up one thing first. This week you went to some lengths to say you wouldn't call this a war, but yet at the Pentagon and at the State Department even they were saying we are at war with ISIS. Are we at war?"
"Well, Bob, I think there's frankly a kind of tortured debate going on about terminology," Kerry responded. "What I'm focused on obviously is getting done what we need to get done to ISIL.
"But if people need to find a place to land: in terms of what we did in Iraq originally, this is not a war. This is not combat troops on the ground. It's not hundreds of thousands of people. It's not that kind of mobilization.
"But in terms of al Qaeda, which we have used the word war with, yeah, we're at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates. And in the same context, if you want to use it, yes, we're at war with ISIL in that sense.
"But I think it's a waste of time to focus on that, frankly, let's consider what we have to do to degrade and defeat ISIL, and that's what I'm frankly much more focused on."
Sep 22, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 02 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
In his September 10 speech to the nation, President Obama said, “This is American leadership at its best: We stand with people who fight for their own freedom; and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.”
Sharing carrier secrets is a bad idea. Sep 22, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 02 • By STEVE COHEN
The Obama administration very much wants a diplomatic success somewhere in the world. So when the president orders the head of the U.S. Navy to meet with his Chinese counterpart and find areas of cooperation, it is neither surprising nor inappropriate. But the possibility that the Chinese Navy will gain real insight into how our aircraft carriers operate is worrying our Pacific allies and could compromise our security.
3:11 PM, Sep 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
White House spokesman Josh Earnest couldn't define what victory against ISIS will look like. "I didn't bring my Webster's dictionary," he told a reporter.
"What does victory look like here?" asked a reporter. "I mean, you've talked about destroying ISIL. I honestly don't know what that means. What does it mean"
"I didn't bring my Webster's dictionary with me up here," Earnest said.
8:33 AM, Sep 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Michael Morrell, a former acting director of the CIA under Barack Obama, says that the strategy his old boss is using to go after ISIS in Syria does not have a high chance of being successful:
12:02 AM, Sep 11, 2014 • By KATHERINE ZIMMERMAN
In an address Wednesday night to the nation, President Obama held up America’s strategy in Yemen as a model for the counterterrorism strategy he intends to pursue in Iraq and Syria. By doing so, he committed to a strategy of targeting terrorists from the air and supporting local security forces in their counterterrorism fight.
Hosted by Michael Graham.10:35 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on President Obama's speech on his administration's strategy to take on ISIS.
9:21 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By FREDERICK W. KAGAN and KIMBERLY KAGAN
President Obama just announced that he is bringing a counter-terrorism strategy to an insurgency fight. He was at pains to repeat the phrase “counter-terror” four times in a short speech. Noting that ISIL is not a state (partly because the international community thankfully does not recognize it), he declared, “ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.” Neither of those sentences, unfortunately, is true.
8:36 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In talking about defeating ISIS, President Obama will cite the examples of Yemen and Somalia as models of success.
"This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama will say, according to an except released in advance of tonight's address to the nation.
4:33 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the press in Baghdad, Iraq today before rushing off to a meeting in Amman, Jordan for "bilateral meetings with counterparts to discuss regional issues and the current situation in Iraq." Kerry said that tonight, President Obama "will lay out with great specificity each component of a broad strategy in order to deal with ISIL."
3:48 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama is scheduled to address the nation this evening to discuss destroying the terrorist army of ISIS. But before hitting the airwaves, he's asking Democratic donors to "chip in $10 or more right now to help elect Democrats."
He made the ask in an email to supporters of the Democratic party.
"There are just 55 days left in this election, Daniel," writes Obama in the email.
3:06 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
Stories on President Obama’s strategy-for-the-Islamic-State speech this evening have made it plain that the military approach is going to be a combination of U.S. airpower and various Iraqi and Syrian proxies on the ground. “Obama’s ISIL Strategy to Emphasize Coalition Effort,” headlines RealClearPolitics.
Hosted by Michael Graham.2:00 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Jay Cost on the President's ISIS speech, and whether his foreign policy will help Democrats running for re-election in 2014.
12:06 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former Vice President Dick Cheney blasted President Obama in a speech today at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Cheney blamed Obama for the "arbitrary and hasty withdrawal of residual forces from Iraq," which he said resulted in "the tragic error that gave us a caliphate."