That was quick. Within two hours of President Obama telling the White House press corps that “we don’t have a strategy yet” on ISIS, Vox was on it, voxplaining what everyone else got wrong about the words that came directly from the president’s mouth.
The headline should read, then, what everyone — expect the experts at Vox — got wrong about the quote that will haunt Obama. As Zack Beauchamp writes:
“We don’t have a strategy yet” seems to vindicate both at the same time. It sounds like Obama is admitting that he has no idea what he’s doing in Iraq.
There’s also a more sympathetic interpretation.
Viewed in context with the rest of his remarks, Obama’s point might be that there is no good strategy available for fully defeating ISIS in both Iraq and Syria — which is both consistent with his approach the crisis in those countries, in which he has primarily avoided risky escalation, and perhaps true.