Is Russia right that America is fighting ISIS ‘in word only’?

Is Russia right that America is fighting ISIS ‘in word only’?

Despite reports that the United States hit 17 ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria on Christmas Day, Russia is not happy with America’s commitment to the war on terror.

According to the Russian news agency TASS:

The Pentagon, refusing to transfer the data on terrorist targets in Syria to the Russian military, continues to fight against the Islamic State terrorist group “in word only”, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Monday.

He thus commented on a recent statement by the Pentagon spokesperson Michelle Baldanza who confirmed that the US military did not intend to share with Moscow the information on IS targets until Russia changes its policy towards Syrian President Bashar Assad. “We are not going to cooperate with Russia on Syria until they change their strategy of supporting Assad and instead focus on ISIL (IS),”Baldanza said.

“The hackneyed thesis has once again confirmed that the Pentagon will fight against IS in word only, instead of taking real action,” Konashenkov said. “The statement by the US Defense Department spokesperson Michelle Baldanza about the [US side’s] refusal from any cooperation in the fight against Islamic State is a broken record, and it’s high time to change it,” he said.

Russia’s main accusation is that the United States is paying only lip service to defeating ISIS because we refuse to share information on targets in Syria with Russia, which preserves ISIS oil smuggling routes. The clear implication is that Russia would destroy these routes if they could locate them, thus cutting off a source of income for ISIS.

There is reason to suspect that Russia’s bluster is more about stroking Vladimir Putin’s ego than it is about strategy. At the same time, there is no denying that the Obama administration and the president himself have refused to wage anything approaching a robust air campaign against ISIS in Syria.

As Charles Krauthammer has noted repeatedly, Obama’s air campaign over Syria averages seven strikes a day, whereas:

In Operation Desert Storm, we flew 1,100 sorties a day. Even in the Kosovo campaign, we averaged 138. Obama is doing just enough in Syria to give the appearance of motion, yet not nearly enough to have any chance of success.

Obama’s heart is obviously not in this and never was. He was elected to the presidency during wartime, but he has never been a wartime president.

Here is a video of the Pentagon’s “boast” of 17 air strikes on ISIS on Christmas Day:


Cross-posted at

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is Outreach Director for FreedomWorks, a grassroots organization dedicated to limited government. She is a contributor at Fox News and has written for The Blaze, The Daily Caller, Los Angeles Times, and dozens of other publications. She is the author of the book ”Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation.”


For your convenience, you may leave commments below using Disqus. If Disqus is not appearing for you, please disable AdBlock to leave a comment.