Over a year ago, President Obama stated on national television that he would “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL), saying, “I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.”
I find it strange that in light of that public statement, the administration is just now getting serious about destroying the Islamic State’s principal source of revenue to finance their caliphate and murderous activities. This is, after all, the terrorist organization that just blew a Russian airliner out of the sky and has banked hundreds of millions of dollars in blackmarket oil money to fund their activities. They are not the JV team Obama described.
The New York Times reports that the ISIS oil fields generate about $40 million a month for the caliphate or about $500 million a year. American forces have been frustrated for some time that after minimal airstrikes, ISIS is able to quickly reconstitute production. Now, the Pentagon is planning to go after targets that hold equipment that cannot be easily replaced and intends to shut the oil fields down. “The art we had of building target sets and doing deep studies on adversaries, in some cases was a lost art,” General Brown said. “What targets are we not striking that we could go strike? How do we bring all the intelligence together?”
Really? A year later, we are only just studying the targets and getting serious about destroying the crude oil money tree? The only explanation for this stunning admission is that the United States government has not been serious about destroying the Islamic State for the last fourteen months since bombing began. Here is the killer statement—American commanders say it will take time to assess the success of cutting off oil money to ISIS due to the amount of financial resources they have built up. Does anyone see the irony here? Could it be that President Obama is just running out the clock and leaving this mess he created for a real leader to deal with?
Or is the explanation simply that Russia entering the Syrian conflict left the administration no choice but to do something, otherwise their duplicity would be exposed and Democratic foreign policy shown for the disaster it really is.