In Pentagon Briefing, Obama Offers Little Substance on ISIS Fight

Offers Vague Pledges to Do More and Names Slain ISIS 'Leaders'

Just a week after his Oval Office address talking up the ISIS war, President Obama made a rare briefing at the Pentagon, following a strategy meeting with military leaders. What followed was a lot of bragging on progress, but little substance.

Obama named off seven ISIS leaders believed to have been killed in recent months, vowing escalations that would kill more in the future, while advancing the dubious claim that ISIS had lost “40 percent” of the populated area it controlled in Iraq.

Obama went on to say that progress needs to come “faster” in the war, but didn’t offer any particulars on how that might happen, only falling back on the old vow that ISIS leaders can run but they can’t hide, while touting his vague plan as foolproof.

Hawkish Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) blasted the comments as “business as usual,” dismissing the visit to the Pentagon as little more than a photo op for the president. McCain has been pushing for a full-scale invasion of Iraq and Syria, while Obama has insisted the war needs to be primarily airstrikes and special forces raids.

Obama has been under growing pressure to show some signs of progress, and this has led to more policy statements like the one today, but with his determination to maintain the same policy, he’s not offering much different with each speech.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of