Bolton: ‘Slow-rolling’ fight against ISIL will drag on if Hillary wins

by WorldTribune Staff, October 3, 2016

Hillary Clinton would continue President Barack Obama’s “slow-rolling” fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) while Donald Trump would look to “rapidly” defeat the terror organization, former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton said.

“Hillary Clinton is going to be Barack Obama’s third term,” Bolton, who publicly supports Trump, told WorldNetDaily/Radio America.

John Bolton
John Bolton

“I think that’s true not just on national security matters but on domestic policy as well. While she likes to say – and did several times on Monday (first presidential debate) say – I’ve got a plan for this or I’ve got a plan for that, her plan for ISIL sounds suspiciously like Barack Obama’s, except (she says) she’s going to do it better.”

Bolton said he likes Trump’s emphasis on defeating ISIL swiftly.

“Trump has been very clear,” he said. “As long as ISIL has a privileged sanctuary from which it can recruit new members and train and direct them to terrorist activity in Europe or the United States, that’s a real threat to us. So the slow-rolling Obama offensive against ISIL in Iraq and Syria has really cost us and could cost us further in very human terms.

“Trump has been about as emphatic as one can imagine that he believes that rapidly defeating ISIL in Iraq and Syria ought to be the top priority,” Bolton said.

Bolton said he’s not worried by Trump’s lack of specifics.

“Even if he laid out a plan today, in six months, when – assuming he wins – he takes office, the lay of the land could be different,” Bolton said.

Bolton also pointed to FBI Director James Comey’s warning that “there will be a terrorist diaspora sometime in the next two to five years like we’ve never seen before. We must prepare ourselves and our allies particularly in western Europe to confront that threat because, when ISIL is reduced to an insurgency and those killers flow out, they will try to come to western Europe and try to come here to kill innocent people.”

Bolton thinks that what Comey was “implicitly saying is that if Hillary’s elected, carrying out Obama’s policies will take several years to defeat ISIL” as the terror group has been effective in slowing the advance of the U.S. and its allies.

“They have not been in the kind of chaotic retreat that would signal a breakdown of their command and control or their discipline,” Bolton said. “If they are able to hold with that level of professionalism, I think they’ll fight a slow retreat, hold off as long as they can, wait for the United States to get tired or get diverted by something else.”

But Bolton said Comey is also right about what happens to those ISIL fighters once their territory is taken away from them.

“If it looks like they’re going down to defeat, I think they will do precisely what FBI Director Comey said. They’ll simply leave the region and go and carry on their war against the West in Europe or in the United States itself,” he said.

Overall, Bolton said the first debate did not spend nearly enough time focused on national security.

“I don’t think there was enough time, and the topics in the debate were very broad,” Bolton said. “I just think, given the threat of international terrorism around the world, the threat of nuclear proliferation, the threats of Russia and China, that people need to size up the candidates on how they’re going to do dealing with these foreign challenges.”