NEW YORK, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - US President Barack Obama's comparison of anti-Islamic State (IS) efforts to US counter-terrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen is disingenuous, Matthew Hoh, a former US marine, told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
"The president's citing of the success of American military policy in Somalia and Yemen showcases the intellectual and moral dishonesty of this administration. Both nations are chaotic and violent despite US military action," Hoh, an analyst at the Center for International Policy who previously served in Iraq, said.
"Al-Shabaab in Somalia and al-Qaeda in Yemen enjoy the recruitment benefits of American airstrikes on Somali and Yemeni civilians. A better comparison would be Afghanistan, where a continued US military policy of picking sides in a foreign civil war has led to American troops beginning a 13th combat year, soaring levels of violence against civilians, a government crisis and an emboldened Taliban," the expert added.
On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama announced plans to defeat IS by extending US airstrikes from Iraq to Syria and adopting a counter-terror strategy akin to those in Yemen and Somalia.
Estimates of IS forces vary from 10,000 to 50,000 with a large proportion of foreign fighters recruited from around 50 nations, according to the US State department. In June, the group declared an Islamic caliphate on the vast areas it controls in Syria and Iraq.