ISIS 'Not Contained,' Head of Military Says; Obama 'Largely Ignored' Group's Rise, Expert Adds

Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighboring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. | (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. contradicted President Obama Tuesday when he told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that ISIS is not contained.

U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on "U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq and its Implications for the Region" in Washington December 1, 2015. | (Photo: REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

"We have not contained ISIL. Tactically they have been contained in areas, but strategically they have spread since 2010," declared General Dunford.

The top military commander added that currently, "I think we have the right elements of the strategy today to defeat ISIS."

Gen. Dunford added that "we are mobilizing all the military capabilities that are necessary, adding that the military campaign against the Islamic State was "not fully resourced since 2010.

In an Wednesday interview with The Christian Post, Edward A. Turzanski, the John Templeton Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, criticized the president for his tepid response to the Islamic State.

"The president has largely ignored the rise of ISIS," declared Turzanski. "Most of his response has been rhetorical and it has not been helpful.

"All of this is dismissing of what has been happening in front of our eyes. ISIS has reached red lines, now they are acting not just in Syria and Iraq, but directing power into Europe," he added.

Turzanski pointed to the accuracy of recent comments by Gen. Michael Flynn who has denounced the president for ignoring the warning from military leaders on the rise of ISIS. Flynn is the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

"I think that they did not meet a narrative the White House needed. And I'll be very candid with you, they just didn't," Flynn told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead" Wednesday.

Flynn accused the president of playing politics with ISIS for the purpose of his re-election in 2012. Flynn has been critical, too, of former President George W. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

Turzanski pointed out to CP that according to the FBI director, "There are over a thousand inquiries of ISIS sympathizers in the U.S."

He noted, echoing Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, today that "Obama is giving in to the Joint Chiefs demand that we have some level of ground troops."

Sen. Coats, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News Tuesday that President Obama is changing his ISIS strategy but will not admit it publicly.

"You cannot counter ISIS with the feeble response that has happened so far," Turzanski declared, "You have to have the means to stop them.

"The Kurds have been pleading with us to have boots on the ground. The administration got to the point that they could no longer ignore what Gen. Flynn and others have been telling them."

He said that the response now is "a quiet change that is not enough force but is only the beginning."

"The road to hell and defeat is paved with half measures," added Turzanski.

The White House has continually insisted that remarks made by President Obama concerning ISIS being contained only had to do with the militant group's strategic and military operations within Iraq and Syria.

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