[guest post by Dana]
This morning, President Obama stated that ISIS is just one of a number of terrorist organizations that threaten the United States that we will need to “focus” on.
“Their extreme ideology poses a medium and long-term threat,” the president said, of the group now taking control of large swaths of Iraq.
He added that the immediate problem is that ISIS is ”destabilizing a country that could spill over,” but they are “just one of a number of organizations that we need to stay focused on,” including al-Qaeda in Yemen and Boko Haram.
“What we can’t do is think that we’re just gonna play whac-a-mole and send U.S. troops occupying various countries wherever these organizations pop up,” Obama said.
The president rejected the idea that the power “vacuum” in Syria, and thus the current threat from ISIS, could have been averted if the U.S. had backed moderate rebels in Syria against Bashar Assad.
“I think this notion that somehow there was this ready-made moderate Syrian force that was ready to defeat al-Assad was simply not true,” he said. “The idea that they could have defeated” Assad and jihadist groups, he added, “if we just sent a few arms, was a fantasy.”