Amateur hour at the White House continues: Obama says he has no strategy to deal with ISIS

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, commonly known as ISIL or ISIS, has been a threat in the Middle East for some time, but you wouldn’t know that from the reaction of President Barack Obama and administration officials.

The Islamic militant group’s bloody and violent rise in Iraq, which came into focus for the United States in June, appeared to catch the White House by complete surprise. Nearly three months later, President Obama has yet to form a coherent strategy to deal with ISIL, something to which he owned up on Thursday afternoon:

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, we don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said in a press conference Thursday of seeking congressional approval for additional airstrikes in the Middle East.

Obama has been under pressure to expand U.S. bombings from Iraq to Syria, but his advisers remain divided about the prospect of military intervention there.

For his part, the president seemed to suggest Thursday that he was less interested in using military action in Syria than Iraq.

“My priority at this point,” Obama said, “is to make sure the gains that [ISIS] made in Iraq are rolled back.”

Keep in mind that this is nearly three months after the gains made by the Islamic militant group began appearing in the news. Now, it’s true that President Obama was largely referring to dealing with ISIL in Syria, where the group is based, a point that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest emphasized after the press conference.

Still, President Obama’s comment is revealing, and it doesn’t just speak to the situations in Iraq and Syria. Really, the line “we don’t have a strategy yet” speaks to the foreign policy throughout his presidency — whether it’s Libya, Egypt, Russia and Ukraine, Israel and Hamas, Syria, and, now, Iraq. It’s amateur hour at the White House.

Don’t mistake this, not every conflict or war is the United States’ business. We can’t be the policeman of the world — that’s fiscally irresponsible and fundamentally inconsistent with limited government. Although he tried to appear hawkish in the past, President Obama doesn’t have a coherent foreign policy. He’s certainly not a noninterventionist, and he’s not as hawkish as he once was.

President Obama has not only checked out on domestic policy, but also on international issues as well. Regardless of your foreign policy point of view, that puts the United States in a very dangerous position, and, quite possibly, puts Americans at risk.

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