ISIS is part of the war on terrorism. One need only scan the group’s social media accounts or watch an extraordinary documentary from Vice Media where a young 14 year old says he hopes one day to raise the black flag of Jihad over the White House to understand that these fighters threaten America and the west.
But those American jets bombing ISIS positions outside of Mosul, at the base of Sinjar and on the outskirts of Irbil, mean Obama is fighting the same kind of long, ideological war he has spent most of his presidency trying to end.
True, ISIS and al Qaeda aren’t on good terms these days—its success poses a direct challenge to al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and it has even battled al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria. But they share a common core of ideology that drives the entire jihadist threat against the west.
Despite this, Obama has labored to limit the war on terror to the organization that attacked us on 9-11, which officially began on Sept. 14, 2001 when Congress passed a resolution declaring war on al Qaeda and others who planned the horrific attacks of 9/11.