Rift widens between Obama, U.S. military over strategy to fight Islamic State

Craig Whitlock
The Washington Post
9/18/2014

Flashes of disagreement over how to fight the Islamic State are mounting between President Obama and U.S. military leaders, the latest sign of strain in what often has been an awkward and uneasy relationship.

Even as the administration has received congressional backing for its strategy, with the Senate voting Thursday to approve a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a series of military leaders have criticized the president’s approach against the Islamic State militant group.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who served under Obama until last year, became the latest high-profile skeptic on Thursday, telling the House Intelligence Committee that a blanket prohibition on ground combat was tying the military’s hands. “Half-hearted or tentative efforts, or airstrikes alone, can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” he said. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.”

Mattis’s comments came two days after Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the rare step of publicly suggesting that a policy already set by the commander in chief could be reconsidered…

 

 

The article continues, with video, at The Washington Post.

 

 

Related:   D.C. Whispers: West Wing Livid Over Military Revolt

…Things became so bad this afternoon, a senior White House adviser is said to have yelled out during a phone conference with a group of Senate Democrats, “You remind those assh*les who they take orders from!”…

 

 

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