Dem Congressman Defends Obama’s Response To Islamic State Threat


Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider said he thinks President Obama and his international coalition are making progress in the Middle East.

Schneider, who is running for re-election in Illinois’ 10th district seat, said Obama’s strategy to combat the Islamic State is making progress.

"I think if you look at stories in the last couple of days about success in Kobani, pushing ISIS back, working in conjunction with the Kurds of Syria, helping the Kurds from Iraq move through Turkey and join the fight against ISIS–there is progress," Schneider said.

While Schneider paints an optimistic portrait of the Middle East, some U.S. and Kurdish officials say Obama’s strategy to fight the IS with airstrikes is neither aggressive enough nor is it making a significant impact.

Earlier this month, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said U.S. airstrikes "are not going to save" Kobani or other key cities in Syria and Iraq.

"We've been very honest about the limits of air power here," Kirby said during a Pentagon briefing.

CNN reported:

"The ground forces that matter the most are indigenous ground forces, and we don't have a willing, capable, effective partner on the ground inside Syria right now–it's just a fact," Kirby said.

The Obama administration was criticized Tuesday after U.S. weapons fell into the hands of IS militants. The weapons were meant to bolster Kurdish fighters, but missed their target near Kobani and instead fell to IS jihadists.

Still, Schneider said he believes Obama’s strategy of fighting IS is working–the same "strategy" that in September Obama told the American people did not exist.

Kirsten Hunter   Email Kirsten | Full Bio | RSS
Kirsten Hunter is a media analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. She previously worked for Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts and as a research assistant on the best-selling textbook, American Government: Roots and Reform. Most recently, she served as social media coordinator and reporter for independent political sites. She graduated from High Point University in December 2013.

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