We’ve got the shot and the chaser in one report.
Michael Vickers, another former senior Obama defense official who testified alongside Flournoy, said he did not believe the U.S. was winning the ISIS fight.
“I do not believe we are winning, or we’re certainly not winning fast enough,” added Vickers, former under secretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush and Obama.
“As Michèle mentioned, this will be a long struggle, but if you look at our fight with al Qaeda, if you look at it in terms of a campaign, we need a more rapid and decisive campaign that will at least deny sanctuary — much as we did with the Taliban, in 2001,” he added.
Tough talk — sounds good to me. But then we get to the…
“I don’t think we are where we need to be,” Michèle Flournoy, former under secretary of defense for policy, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I think that this threat has shown itself to be much more serious than I think we first realized,” said Flournoy, now CEO of the Center for a New American Security.
“It’s something that’s a long-term challenge that we need to deal with, and I don’t think we are fully resourcing a multidimensional strategy,” she added.
Flournoy also added that the threat is “getting worse, not better.”
“I don’t think invading Syria is the answer. … But I do think we as the United States need to play more of a leadership role diplomatically, more of a leadership role in terms of enabling others militarily, and with intelligence, and be in a more forward-leaning posture, because this threat is getting worse, not better,” she said.
Listen to the language Flournoy uses, the stifling bureaucratese she speaks. I realize this is a military-wide problem, but people like Flournoy are a big part of that problem. Words and phrases like “fully resourcing a multidimensional strategy,” “forward-leaning posture,” “leadership role,” and “enabling” are the language used by people trying to hide the fact that there is no White House or Pentagon commitment to victory.
I realize winning wars is a passé concept in our postmodern world, but wouldn’t it be nice if the leadership could at least fake it for the sake of us yokels who still think that sort of thing is important?
Before we finish however, that harsh chaser requires a water back:
Flournoy is considered a possible candidate to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s defense secretary if she wins the presidency.