New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) argued on Sunday that President Obama has declared war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in order to help Democrats win the midterm elections in November and expressed concern that he would abandon the fight in the new year.
“I think we have a problem where the president’s foreign policy is being trapped by his campaign rhetoric,” Ayotte began during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “I’m very fearful as we look at the current military strategy that it is surrounding the November elections and he won’t have the resolve to follow through with what needs to be done in a sustained effort to destroy ISIS, and we’re about to repeat the same thing with Afghanistan,” she added, referring to the effort to withdraw American troops from that country.
Asked directly by host Chris Wallace if she was “suggesting that after the November election and acting tough and talking tough, that he will pull back from confronting ISIS,” Ayotte responded that she was.
“I’m very concerned about that, Chris, and his resolve in this regard.”
There is no evidence that Obama plans to abandon the fight against ISIS. During his speech about the threat to the nation, Obama stressed that “If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States” and warned that “it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL.” Testifying before Congress, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey also characterized the fight against ISIS as “a sustained effort over an extended period of time.” “It is a generational problem. And we should expect that our enemies will adapt their tactics as we adjust our approach,” he said.
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume agreed with Ayotte’s assessment:
I think it’s beginning to look more and more as if our effort is inspired by politics and the nearing election, as were the previous efforts in Iraq. The bombing campaign appears to be anything but really intense. Now, maybe it can’t be, because we lack the intelligence to select the proper targets and proper number to really do damage It does not appear to have greatly retarded ISIS’s progress. It looks like a quite mild bombing campaign undertaken for the purpose of appearing to do something toward the goal, the president says, of ultimately taking down ISIS. My sense is that after he gets past this election, his effort to take down ISIS, I don’t think it’s something he deeply believes in. I don’t think he could possibly believe in the approach he’s taken, [it] will subside as Kelly Ayotte fears.