The Daily Telegraph quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof on whether the US intelligence community was caught off guard by the Islamic State’s seemingly unexpected expansion into Iraq and Syria:

Frederic Hof, the former State Department special adviser on Syria now with the Rafik Hariri Center in Washington, who argued for greater support for the rebels but later resigned in the face of White House opposition to the policy, said the intelligence community was not to blame.

“I very much doubt that the intelligence community was asleep at the switch while Isil was gaining strength in Syria,” he told The Telegraph, “None of this was exactly hidden from view.

“No doubt President Obama and his advisors were perplexed when it came to policy options, and no doubt the scope and speed of the Isil thrust into Iraq were surprising. But I doubt that the US intelligence community is to blame for any policy shortfalls.”

Read the full article here.