The lack of intelligence on ISIS, both in failing to predict the various ISIS advances in both Syria and Iraq, and in lack of information on the organization’s current operations, is a major concern, particularly as the US continues to escalate an open-ended war against them.
Yet the official response so far is a broad exercise in blame-shifting, as administration officials point their fingers at the intelligence community for “underestimating” ISIS.
Yet the intelligence officials have a different story entirely, saying they provided all sorts of intelligence on the ISIS expansion, and that policy-makers chose to ignore that because they were focused on al-Qaeda and other groups deemed “more pressing.”
Exactly how much the intelligence community knew of the ISIS expansions before they happened remains in dispute, but what is undeniable is that the administration has little to no intelligence on where ISIS targets on the ground actually are, and with airstrikes continuing to escalate, that’s going to be a long-term problem.
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