Obama only using ‘rhetoric’ on ISIL: Ex-CIA chief

KONFRONTASI - US President Barack Obama's admission that “we don’t yet have a complete strategy" against ISIL indicates that he is only using "rhetoric” regarding the terrorist group, according to former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden.

During concluding remarks at the G7 summit in Germany on Monday, Obama acknowledged that his administration still lacks a “complete strategy” in pushing back the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

Obama said his top national security team was working to finalize plans to train Iraqi forces battling ISIL.

Recent setbacks in Iraq and Syria have raised serious doubts about Obama’s strategy, months after he announced an open-ended military air campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the ISIL forces by enlisting the support of scores of allies.

In an interview with Newsmax on Monday, Hayden said Obama should have chosen his language more carefully. "But to say we're still in search of a strategy… nine months into combat operations, that is a little bit scary."

"That suggests rhetoric in place of action," Hayden added.

The retired Air Force general said Obama’s other comment – that his security advisors were "reviewing our plans" – was "also quite revealing."

"That's what you say when you really don't want to get other things underway," he noted.

Many of the so-called moderate militants, who were trained by the CIA in 2012 in Jordan to battle the Syrian government, later joined the ISIL terrorist group, according to several reports.

Hayden, however, praised Obama for his efforts at the G7 summit to rally the European leaders behind him for a tougher line against Russia.

"He seemed to hold the line and to put some pressure on our European friends to hold the line as well so that is a modestly positive outcome to come out of the G7," the former CIA director said.[ptv]