In an interview with VICE News President Obama traced the origins of ISIS all the way back to the President George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, stating the terrorist group is an “unintended consequence” of the war.
“Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama told VICE News. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”
Obama’s statement is the first time he has criticized American foreign policymaking, but the point hits hard in demonstrating how crucial it is to truly evaluate our actions before it is too late.
“What I’m worried about” he said, “is even if ISIL is defeated, the underlying problem of disaffected Sunnis around the world – but particularly in some of these areas including Libya, including Yemen – where a young man who’s growing up has no education, has no prospects for the future, is looking around and the one way he can get validation, power, respect, is if he’s a fighter."
“That’s a problem we’re going to have, generally,” Obama continued. “And we can’t keep on thinking about counterterrorism and security as entirely separate from diplomacy, development, education.”
This argument has been noted in the past by other politicians, but not validated by our government. Our completely unnecessary invasion destabilized the country and created the terrifying disaster now ruling. American foreign policy really needs to start thinking before acting.