Islamic State crisis reveals Obama administration has a serious communication problem
BY T. BECKET ADAMS, The Washington Examiner
The rise of the ultra-violent group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has revealed an unsettling truth: Top Obama administration officials do not appear to be communicating with each other as they scramble to address the growing terrorist threat.
For example, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest found himself in the uncomfortable position Tuesday afternoon of having to “clarify” remarks made earlier in the day by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Martin remarked during the hearing that if circumstances in areas controlled by the Islamic State, including Iraq and Syria, continue to spin out of control, diving deeper into chaos, he’d consider deploying U.S. combat troops.
“If the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga were at some point ready to retake Mosul, a mission that I would find to be extraordinarily complex, it could very well be part of that particular mission to provide close combat advising or accompanying for that mission,” he said. “But for the day to day activities I anticipate will evolve over time, I don’t see it to be necessary right now.”
This is in direct contradiction to President Obama’s oft-repeated promise to not put an “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria.
So it fell on Earnest to clear up Dempsey’s comments.
“I think, as was clear from General Dempsey’s remarks, that he was referring to a hypothetical scenario in which there might be a future situation in which he might make a tactical recommendation to the President as it relates to the use of ground troops,” the White House spokesman told reporters Tuesday afternoon.