On Saturday, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes stated ISIS would not be defeated in 2016. “[ISIS] will continue to exist. You are not going to eradicate [ISIS] in the next year,” he said during a briefing when asked if he thought ISIS would be degraded by the end of President Obama’s tenure in office.
The elimination of ISIS, seemingly not a priority for Obama, is competing with issues Obama does deem as urgent. As Daniel Greenfield, Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center notes, “Obama is just running out the clock and letting Iran do the heavy lifting while playing plane theater. Of course as long as Obama depends on Iran to fight ISIS, as he did in Ramadi, that encourages Sunnis to back ISIS and other Sunni Jihadist groups making the problem that much worse. But he’ll just blame global warming or Republicans or poverty for his latest disaster.”
One of the individuals behind Obama’s foreign policy devastation is ISIS czar Robert Malley, who blamed Israel for the results of the Camp David Peace Talks–against the opinions of most other high level officials present at the talks. Malley was also discovered to have met with Hamas members and also raised eyebrows by criticizing Obama for being too hawkish in regard to the Iranian nuclear deal.
This is what Obama will be focused on:
- Gun control measures that do not require congressional approval.
- Working on his foreign-policy legacy by extensively traveling and meeting with allies to discuss retaking territory from ISIS.
- Assisting with the rise of emerging democracies.
- “Completing a lot of work that has been a priority throughout the administration,” according to Rhodes
- Stabilizing Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Coming up with a political resolution to the Syrian Civil war.
- Advising the government of Cuba to make more economic and political reforms.
- Implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran.
- Ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
- Moving forward with the Paris climate change accord.
- Making Cuban normalization irreversible.
And while trying to retake territory from the ISIS is on the agenda, the ability of individuals to guard themselves from terror-related violence in the U.S. is something the administration is trying to quash. Though many, including some law enforcement, have recommended that U.S. citizens arm themselves, Rhodes disagrees, citing it as “a dangerous and slippery slope.” And so, CNN will host Obama’s town hall on guns in America. He will join CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday for a one-hour live town hall at George Mason University in order to try to garner public support.