Former CIA acting director Mike Morell, now a CBS News contributor, joined House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) on Sunday morning to discuss the threat to the Middle East posed by the Sunni Islamic militant group ISIS. Both Morell and Rogers agreed that the failure to address the ISIS threat earlier was an Obama administration policy failure and not a failure of intelligence.
“Al-Qaeda in Iraq was essentially defeated when U.S. military left at the end of 2011,” Morell conceded. “And the intelligence community monitored the growth of al-Qaeda post 2011 in great detail with intelligence reporting, with analysis. We made very clear that this group is becoming more and more dangerous.”
“We watched them pool up in the east of Syria in a way that we’ve never seen before,” Rogers agreed.
“But was there a policy failure to work on what that intelligence was showing us?” CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell asked.
“Yes,” Rogers concurred. He noted that those who advocated for a containment of the conflict in Syria warned that it was a conflict which could destabilize the region.
Morell previously said on CBS This Morning that one of ISIS’s goals was to strike at the United States homeland after creating a safe haven in Syria and western Iraq.