Eliminating leadership is key to degrading a terrorist organization, but according to former CIA deputy director and CBS News senior security contributor Michael Morell, the Obama administration is not doing enough to take ISIS leaders off the battlefield.
"I don't think our intelligence is good enough. I don't think we're taking enough action," Morell said Monday on "CBS This Morning." "Otherwise we wouldn't be removing a leader once every three or four months, we would be removing two a week."
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President Obama denied those claims and defended his administration, saying "there has been an acute awareness" from the start that ISIS could strike the Western countries.
"Understand that one of the challenges we have in this situation is if you have a handful of people who don't mind dying, they can kill a lot of people," Mr. Obama said Monday during a press conference at the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey. "That's one of the challenges of terrorism. It's not their sophistication or the particular weaponry they possess, but it is the ideology that they carry with them and their willingness to die. In those circumstances, tracking each individual, making sure we are disrupting and preventing these attacks is a constant effort at vigilance and requires extraordinary coordination."
It's that coordination on the ground and intelligence gathering that poses a particular challenge.
"It's not easy to collect intelligence in a denied area, right? It's not easy to collect intelligence in a war zone," Morell said."We're not on the ground in an embassy right in the middle of the Islamic caliphate. So developing human sources takes a lot of time. I'm absolutely confident it's going to get better, it's already gotten better, but it needs to be a lot better."