President Obama’s main counterrterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, believes that the United States is winning the war against ISIS. However, she has also stated that the President-elect Trump and his team need to guard against potential terrorism during the start of his administration.
Monaco’s role in the current administration sees her, and her team of 50 or so senior directors and other White House officials, develop a huge number of policies. These are related to international terrorist organizations, how to protect the U.S. against hackers, even helping mitigate against the spread of new and existing diseases.
Prior to her role at the White House, Monaco was in charge of the National Security Division at the Department of Justice. Before that, she was chief of staff at the FBI.
No Word From Trump Team
CNN met with Monaco at the Defense One Summit in Washington to discuss Trump’s move to the White House. Their discussion moved to information that Trump’s team have yet to contact Monaco.
When asked whether Trump’s team had been in touch with her, she responded:
” Not me personally. We are ready to carry out the President’s directions. The President’s been very clear with his team that we are going to conduct a professional, smooth, comprehensive transition.”
Advice To Her Successor
Monaco has not been made aware of her replacement for the forthcoming Trump administration. Her main advice for this individual is to ensure that they understand the complexities of the role.
“What’s going to be critical for my successor is to make sure you’re focused on the very complex and wide-ranging array of threats that we face today. It’s everything from terrorist threats, cyber threats, emerging infectious diseases. It’s an extremely complex environment in which we’re operating, and so I will be walking my successor through that landscape.”
However, it was not all doom and gloom. Even the most important people in the country have to think about their work environment. Monaco discussed the importance of building a good team, asking the right questions, trusting one’s gut. She also talked about the importance is living close to work, as her successor will spend most of their time at the office.
On a very realistic piece of advice, Monaco went on to say:
“And I would also advise that person to stock up on Vitamin D because, as you know, I occupy a windowless office in the West Wing of the White House, and when I’m not there, I spend the rest of my time in a windowless Situation Room, so he or she will need to get comfortable with that.”
Guantanamo To Potentially Re-Open
Trump has discussed keeping Guantanamo Bay open during his campaign trail. This is not the view of President Obama, who has not sent any prisoners to Guantanamo Bay.
The President-elect has also already discussed bringing back torture methods against suspected terrorist, despite President Obama using one of his first executive orders to ban the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.
Is ISIS Winning?
When asked about claims that ISIS is winning, Monaco responded animatedly about the three dimensions that the terror group employ. These are:
- An insurgent army
- A terror group, orchestrating the attacks witnessed in Paris and Brussels
- As a social phenomenon, using forms of social media to recruit and publicize their hate
Monaco said of ISIS, which she refers to as ISIL (another acronym for ISIS), the following:
“On all three dimensions, ISIL is absolutely losing. They’re being rolled back from territory that they used to occupy in Iraq and Syria, losing some 50% of the territory that they used to occupy. As a terrorist group, they’re on the run. The Defense Department has taken down a number of very senior leaders. And, in the social media space and in the messaging space, we have retooled our approach, whether it’s with our counter-messaging tools or by engaging with the private sector.”
Twitter and Facebook both work to help the global fight against terror. So far, over 360,000 terrorist accounts being taken down in the last eighteen months.
Other Terror Concerns
The interview went onto discuss other issues facing America, such as al Qaeda, who are still very much present in Yemen. However, Monaco states that the group are “largely decimated.”
She also told CNN that the attack on the DNC came directly from the highest levels of Russian government. Yes, that Russian government that Trump is so pally-pally with.
The last question posed to Monaco at the end of the interview asked: What will you be doing on January 21st, 2017?
She replied, “Napping.”
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.