Presidents Pentagon Speech on Defeating ISIL marked by a noticeable omission on ISIL suggest that this is how Obama really thinks to skittish partners in the Mid East?
Today during a briefing on the crisis in the Middle East, the President of the United States delivered remarks on his strategy to defeat ISIL after receiving a briefing from his military brass.
In his statement he omitted the word anti before discussing ISIL when he stated: “…the fall of Ramadi has galvanized the Iraqi government. So with the additional steps I ordered last month we’re speeding up [the] training of ISIL forces, including volunteers from Sunni tribes in Anbar Province. More Sunni volunteers are coming forward…” Defense Secretary Ash Carter, General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and other notable commanders accompanied the President on the stage.
This statement came during a televised speech where the President was speaking about U.S. strategic policies in the Middle East region. It was read off of a written statement which was given to him after his meeting with the National Security team members* at the Pentagon. While most Americans understood that the President had referred to forces fighting against ISIL based on the context both prior to and after this statement, misunderstandings will abound in the Middle East where people are dying on a daily basis and most of the countries are in chaos. Those preparing these statements should have reviewed the President’s speech prior to it being delivered.
ISIL has a very sophisticated Information Operation campaign. This statement by the President, which is heard at 19 minutes and change-state it as -“Pull the button forward to 19:35 and listen” into his speech is one omission too many and as such does not bode well for our strategic influence within the region.
It is a bit surprising that today’s comment was not picked up on by any of the major media in the United States or abroad, given the fact that U.S. leadership is vital within the Middle East region.