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Gates: No “hope of success” against ISIS without boots on the ground

Ed Morrissey,

That’s not the only dash of cold water thrown by Barack Obama’s former Defense Secretary on the administration’s approach to ISIS, but it’s the most immediately relevant. In an interview this morning with CBS News, Robert Gates scoffs at the notion that the short term goal of degrading ISIS can be accomplished without US ground forces in combat to push ISIS out of territory they now control. He scoffs even more at the declared long-term goal, which he says the US has not yet accomplished in thirteen years of asymmetrical combat against al-Qaeda (via Daniel Halper)  [...more]

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The Lexicon of the Contemporary Middle East Expert

Michael Weiss,

Long before the latest convulsions in the Middle East, but certainly encouraged by them, that unendangered species of think tank fellow or academic known simply as the "Middle East Expert" perfected a new lexicon for the English language. Everything that has occurred in a troubled region, from the auto-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor to the barrel bombing of Aleppo, has been made intelligible, if not inevitable, by this carefully constructed lexicon of the elite opinion-makers and policy-formulators of our day. And while it is true that other fields of intellectual pursuit - literary criticism, evolutionary psychology - have minted their own select jargons, rarely have words that are devoid of any meaning or forensic value become so instantly imbued with definition and importance by their mere usage as those deployed by the Middle East Expert.   [...more]

Media Bias and the Benghazi Scandal

Peter Wehner,

Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, writing in the Daily Signal, tells the story of former State Department official Raymond Maxwell, a well-respected 21-year diplomat who personally contributed to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Mr. Maxwell has told lawmakers that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest aides–including her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan–privately removed politically damaging documents before turning over files to the Accountability Review Board, the independent board investigating the Benghazi terror attack.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz confirmed to Fox News that last year, in a private interview, Maxwell told him and other lawmakers that Hillary Clinton’s aides oversaw the operation, which allegedly took place on a weekend in a basement office of the State Department.  [...more]