Daniel Benjamin on the Threat from ISIS

Update (10/21/14). Read in Dartmouth Now how Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin has become a regular contributor with the international news media, and his ability to draw visiting experts to Dartmouth.  

As discussion of the threat from the so-called Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, became a critical topic of concern in Washington, DC, it was also discussed by the news media. As former counter terrorism coordinator for the Obama Administration, Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin has been a reliable source about threats in the region as well as the level of threat posed to the US. 

On September 15, 2014, he spoke on the CNN program Erin Burnett OutFront about the level of threat from the Islamic State and its clear brutality. He also appeared on another CNN program Reliable Sources and spoke about the news media's "hyperventilating" about ISIS. He made similar comments to ABC's This Week, saying the security threat at home has been "exaggerated." 

As military action within Syria was increasingly on the table, Benjamin spoke with KCRW radio on September 16, 2014, about the likelihood of American action against ISIL. He also talked about the overheated rhetoric about ISIS and its direct threat to the US, while acknowledging it is a clear threat to the region on the Alam Colmes Show on FoxNews. He was also interviewed by Australian Broadcasting Corporation

On September 18, 2014, he spoke with Melissa Block of NPR about the level of threat posed to the US by so-called Islamic State. On September 24, 2014, he discussed the possibility of blow-back from Syrian air strikes on Anderson Cooper 360. He also published an opinion piece in Time, "Syrian Jihadis Should Be Confronted, Not Feared." 

On October 18, 2014, Benjamin appeared on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show Global Public Square (GPS) along with Admiral James Stavridis to talk about the ISIS threat to the U.S. homeland and abroad. During the discussion Benjamin noted, "I think that there’s been a lot of hyperventilation about the threat. I think over the long-term, the safe havens that have been established in Iraq and in Syria do pose a significant challenge for the United States. But right now, this conflict is primarily about Sunni versus Shia."