On Sunday, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the United States would not reevaluate the strategy to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL), despite its recent territorial advances, and said that the Obama administration is still not considering boots on the ground.
In an excerpt from an interview with ABC News made available last night, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president’s senior military adviser, was asked about what appear to be dire developments in the Syrian border town of Kobani.
Dempsey’s response began, “Well, it may be about to fall.” This delivered in a matter-of-fact tone of voice you might otherwise reserve for, say, opining about whether or not Japan is going to get hit by a bad hurricane. The tone of voice you reserve for describing someone else’s problem.
After relating that he had been discussing the matter with his Turkish counterpart earlier in the day, Dempsey continued:
Considering the rich and varied menu of threats to our national security on offer these days, the leadership at the Department of Defense—the part of the government meant to secure us from foreign enemies—can at times seem to have misplaced its focus.
Take the curious fact reported in the press over the weekend that General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was heard to say in a “recent meeting” that “combating Ebola” is the DOD’s “number one priority.”
General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and principal military adviser to President Obama, has written an article for Foreign Policy magazine, stating his view of the military’s role in America’s foreign affairs.
Written in a slick, corporate-sounding, richly euphemistic style, the average reader may be left wondering just what, precisely, the point of the article is. Who could disagree with such comments as “a new century [has] brought new dangers,” or, “In each region of the world, we face serious — but very different — security challenges”?