On Thursday, MSNBC analyst Steven Benen looked at several statements by President Donald Trump regarding his much-ballyhooed secret plan to fight ISIS and concluded that “Trump was lying.”
In fact, Benen said, Trump’s current plan to fight ISIS is looking an awful lot like former President Barack Obama’s.
Back when there were 10 candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump confided that he had a brilliant plan to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but he couldn’t reveal it because everyone would copy him.
“Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to tell at some point [what the plan is], but there is a method of defeating them quickly and effectively and having total victory,” he said, adding, “All I can tell you it is a foolproof way of winning.”
In June of 2015, he told the Des Moines Register, “The problem with politics is if I tell you right now, everyone else is going to say, ‘Wow, what a great idea.’ You’re going to have 10 candidates go and use it, and they’re going to forget where it came from, which is me. But no, I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS.”
“As regular readers know,” Benen said, “Trump was lying. The president effectively admitted as much in January, when he signed an executive directive on the matter, asking his national security team to come up with some kind of anti-ISIS plan for him.”
“There have been hints in recent months that Trump’s plan would mirror the Obama administration’s plan – which is to say, the plan Trump said was a failure,” he continued, pointing to a report in the New York Times that said Trump officials were reluctant at this juncture to abandon the policies pursued by the previous administration.
Today, the Washington Post confirmed that the Pentagon is pursuing a policy agenda in the Middle East that is remarkably similar to the Obama administration’s policy.
“The Pentagon is putting the final touches on a promised new counter-Islamic State strategy for Syria and Iraq, and it looks very much like the one the Obama administration pursued, according to senior defense officials,” said the Post‘s Karen DeYoung.
Benen said, “As Retired Admiral James Stavridis, an NBC News analyst, put it a few months ago, ‘The current plan to defeat the Islamic State is just like that old saying: Plan B is just, ‘Try harder at Plan A.’”