Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel said after two months of U.S. airstrikes, ISIS is not degraded at all.
Engel said, “They do not seem to be degraded at all. At first, ISIS was moving toward Baghdad when this crisis began earlier this summer. Then they shifted gears, moved to where I am. They started to attack Kurdistan. The bombing campaign began. Now ISIS is once again focused on Baghdad. it is having an impact in that it has forced ISIS to change their target somewhat, but it’s certainly not slowing down the group.”
Engel continued, “There are enormous contradictions in the U.S. strategy that are becoming more apparent every day. Let’s start with Iraq, even though this is one conflict that has no border between it, we are artificially putting this border between Iraq and Syria because ISIS is on both sides. Let’s start with Iraq, The iraqi army is in no better shape now than when it collapsed. The new government is not instilling confidence in the people. It’s not instilling confidence in the armed forces.”
“The U.S. spent years and years and billions of dollars to build the Iraqi army only to watch it collapse and hand over so many of its weapons. It’s completely unrealistic to think that now with a little bit of outside help and a lot of American good will that the army is going to fundamentally change and the Iraqi government, which is really just a reshuffle of the same characters, is going to fundamentally change and suddenly inspire the iraqi people to be behind it,” he added.
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