A former vice chief of staff of the US Army said the US policies failed to roll back the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Speaking at a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on global threats, General John Keane said “ISIS, is an outgrowth from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which was defeated in Iraq by 2009. After US troops pulled out of Iraq in 2011, ISIS emerged as a terrorist organization in Iraq, moved into Syria in 2012. Is it possible to look at that map in front of you and claim that the United States policy and strategy is working? Or that Al-Qaeda is on the run? It is unmistakable that our policies have failed.”
During the testimony, the panel questioned the policy path followed by the Obama administration regarding the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as well as the war in Afghanistan. Gen. Keane told lawmakers that despite efforts to beat back Al-Qaeda, the group has actually grown over the past few years.
Keane stated that Al-Qaeda has grown fourfold in the last five years.
“And the unequivocal explanation is U.S. policy has focused on disengaging from the Middle East, while our stated policy is pivoting to the east,” he said. “U.S. policymakers choose to ignore the very harsh realities of the rise of radical Islam. In my view, we became paralyzed by the fear of adverse consequences in the Middle East after fighting two wars.”
“Moreover, as we sit here this morning, in the face of radical Islam, U.S. policymakers refuse to accurately name the movement as radical Islam. We further choose not to define it, nor explain its ideology, and most critical, we have no comprehensive strategy to stop it or defeat it.”
The vice chief of staff of the Army from 1999 to 2003 added that the plans for training and assisting the so-called moderate rebels or FSA “is not robust enough”, 5,000 in one year.