Politics & Policy

Obama At G7: ‘We Don’t Have a Complete Strategy’ for Combating ISIS

President Obama with Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty)

In the question-and-answer segment of a press conference on Monday following the G7 Summit in Germany, President Obama admitted that the United States doesn’t have “a complete strategy” to combat the growing threat posed by Islamic State fighters in Iraq.

While Obama kept jobs and economic growth at the forefront of his speech, reporters quickly changed the subject once the president opened the floor for questions, pressing him on the fight against ISIS.

Bloomberg Business White House reporter Justin Sink asked the president, “You said yesterday ahead of your meeting with Prime Minister Cameron that you assessed what was working and what wasn’t. So I’m wondering, bluntly, what is not working in the fight against the Islamic state?”

In his response, Obama talked at length about the need to step up the training of Iraqi security forces, before admitting that America lacked a “complete strategy” for defeating ISIS, which he blamed partly on the Iraqi government.

RELATED: A New Strategic Blueprint for Defeating the Islamic State

“We don’t yet have a complete strategy, because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well, about how recruitment takes place, how that training takes place,” he said. “And so the details of that are not yet worked out.”

‘We don’t yet have a complete strategy, because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well, about how recruitment takes place, how that training takes place.’

Obama sent Congress a draft of legislation authorizing the continued use of military forces to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq back in February, making its ”core objective to destroy ISIL” (the U.S. government’s name for the group). In recent weeks, the White House has criticized Congress for failing to grant the president the authority to assist Iraq in training fighters to combat the Islamic State.

The American people are no more confident in Obama’s ability to beat ISIS than Congress is. According to a Quinnipiac University national poll released June 1, American voters think the U.S. and its allies are losing the fight against ISIS by a margin of 64 percent to 17 percent. Without a clear plan in place, the voters may very well be right.

— Julia Porterfield is an intern at National Review, editor-in-chief of Red Millennial, and a junior at Regent University.

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