“The US can’t fix it,” he asserted. “Somehow the expectation is that we can find the silver needle, and we’ll create ‘the city on a hill.’ ”
Clapper said that the fight against Dash is going much slower than the US expected. In particular, he put it firmly that the major stronghold in Iraq, Mosul, won’t be retaken this year, despite Daesh suffering major losses in manpower and territory recently.
“We’re killing a lot of their fighters. We will retake Mosul, but it will take a long time and be very messy. I don’t see that happening in this administration.”
However, despite his admission of the ineffectiveness of US efforts in the region, Clapper said that Washington won’t just leave the Middle East.
“I don’t think the US can just leave town. Things happen around the world when US leadership is absent. We have to be present — to facilitate, broker and sometimes provide the force,” he concluded.