Inside the Ring: Targeting Islamic State’s al-Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi speaking at the Mosul mosque / AP

President Obama wants to kill or capture Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and has made striking the self-proclaimed caliph one of the highest priorities for his final year in office.

That goal was disclosed in a revealing interview with the president in The Atlantic magazine. Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg quotes the president and a number of senior aides including Ben Rhodes, Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser. The lengthy piece relates how the president and his aides define their foreign policy doctrine as: "Don’t do stupid sh—."

According to the lengthy article, the president is intent on leaving office with a "clean barn" for the next president. But his most urgent priority is fighting the Islamic State that has taken over large parts of Iraq and Syria and is expanding to several other parts of the world. Mr. Obama regards the group as a direct but not existential threat to U.S. national security.

Read the entire article at the Washington Times.