We Are Losing The War On Terror

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First, if you think this is going to be a hit piece on Barack Obama…keep reading, because that is precisely not what this.

What this is, fundamentally, is an analysis of where our global fight against existential terror groups stands.

It is not a pretty picture.

Even before this weeks events in Iraq, we have seen a resurgence of Islamists all over the world.

In African, numerous groups have seen a comeback, most famous being that Baku Haram in Nigeria, who kidnapped several hundred young girls, and led to a Twitter phenomenon that so far has failed to find and return those girls safely.

In Libya, the West’s strategy has failed completely, as the majority of the country is now controlled by rebels, and the Capital itself has come under attack several times; Libya is on the verge of being a failed state.

Syria has long been a failed state, as the Civil War rages on. Thousands have died since the West signed a chemical weapons deal with Assad. The chemical weapons deal is a nice public relations coup, but will not change the killing one iota.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban are apparently biding their time until the US leaves, so they can restart their Jihad against everyone. And they staged one of their biggest coups in years, by receiving 5 key leaders back from Guantanamo Bay, at the price of one single American Soldier.

And the Taliban, along with the Hiqqani network, staged an underreported attack on Karachi airport in Pakistan, which signals new trouble for that nuclear state.

Iraq’s troubles, with ISIS and other Islamist groups, marching toward Baghdad is just another symptom of the larger problem.

Now, people’s instincts are to do one of two things: blame George W. Bush for everything and do nothing; or blame President Barack Obama for everything, and bomb everyone.

Both are incorrect and illogical.

Let us stipulate, at least in Iraq, that George W. Bush shares a lion’s share of the blame. I don’t want to get into the larger fight about the historical record of the war; but Bush owns this, for all time.

That said, that doesn’t mean Mr. Obama should simply play the tit-for-tat game, point at Bush, and say he wins the game. This is no game. This is not a time for political theater.

Let us put this into perspective, shall we? ISIS is a group that Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s titular leader, thought was too extreme for him, and thus he severed ties with that organization. He once thought the group was a liability…the the ‘Al Qaeda brand’. Think about that for a second. To allow them to just walk into Baghdad would be a horrible failure of U.S. foreign policy.

Furthermore, let us recall that Osama Bin Laden’s key strategic goal was not to attack the United States. His key goal, all along, was to create a caliphate in the Middle East, that can grow and then present a true threat to the West. ISIS is on the verge of accomplishing just that.

The question now becomes, as we look at this global surge of islamic terror rising, and then see one event in which we could, at the very least, stem that tide in the hopes that more moderate and democratic forces can take charge, should we just ignore it because it is inconvenient?

Obama has only limited tools at his disposal. Putting troops on the ground is not an option anyone is considering, nor should they. There is much debate about whether drone or air strikes would do the trick. That is a military question I cannot answer.

I think the war in Iraq was a mistake. I think we should be far more non-interventionist in our foreign policy as time passes. But ignoring the threat posed here is foolish as well…9/11 taught us that.

I for one hope the President takes decisive, albeit limited, action here. He has a host of terrible choices, and many if not most of the problems in this specific case were not of his making. However, that should not excuse him from having to make the choice that is needed now, nor should it do so in the future.

Additionally, I hope the country quickly unites and backs the President if he takes quick action. This is a moment for unity, not for politics. There are real costs to failing here; and people who don’t understand that have learned nothing from the last two decades of foreign policy failures.

Obama’s ‘ALL IS WELL!’ World View

animal-house-remain_calm1On Tuesday, Obama spoke to the United Nations General Assembly, and made some of the following comments:

“The world is more stable now than it was five years ago.” “Just as we reviewed how we deploy our extraordinary military capabilities in a way that lives up to our ideals, we’ve begun to review the way that we gather intelligence so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share,” he said. “As a result of this work and cooperation with allies and partners, the world is more stable than it was five years ago,” he added. Obama did note, however, that “dangers remain.” “Even a glance at today’s headlines indicates that dangers remain,” Obama said. “In Kenya we’ve seen terrorists target innocent civilians in a crowded shopping mall, and our hearts go out to the families of those who have been affected. In Pakistan nearly 100 people were recently killed by suicide bombers outside a church. In Iraq killings and car bombs continue to be a terrible part of life.” “Meanwhile, al-Qaida has splintered into regional networks and militias which doesn’t give them the capacity at this point to carry out attacks like 9/11, but it does pose serious threats to governments and diplomats, businesses and civilians all across the globe.”

Now, he did acknowledge there are dangers.  Bully for him.  But the rest of this world vision simply is a level of self-delusion that is not just amusing for his opponents and our enemies on the world stage, but is in fact quite dangerous.

Let us take a case by case look at the world, shall we?

Afghanistan:  Almost twice as many American military personnel have died in that country under Barack Obama’s 4+ years than during Bush’s 7 years of  over seeing that war.  The government has largely distanced itself from its American counterparts, and to varying degrees has aligned itself with Iran and Pakistan.  The Taliban is resurgent, and simply are waiting for the inevitable Obama announcement for exiting the war all together.

Pakistan:  This critical nation is more destabilized now than ever.  The political situation is tenuous, and our relations with them continue to reach all-time new lows.

Iran:  Iran inches toward nuclear weapons, a clear goal if there ever was one.  We missed an opportunity during the Green revolution in 2009, and such a chance will be unlikely to come again.

Iraq:  The country for which Obama has the least historical responsibility, but things are not going well here.  Violence has escalated, almost close to the levels of the civil war of 2006.  And because we withdrew from the Bush-era force agreement, we have no leverage there, as Iraq, like Syria before it, starts to become a proxy state for the Iranians.

Syria:  The biggest, most glaring hole in Obama’s claim.  100,000 Syrians have died during the two-year civil war, and tens of thousands more will die before the war is over.

Israel/Palestine:  The peace process has been dead as a doornail, with neither side even approaching the negotiation table.

Egypt:  After Syria, maybe the next most glaring example of failure.  Violence has been rampant all year, as the Muslim Brotherhood was pushed out of the democratic process.  Ever since Obama helped displace Mubarak from the leadership, Egypt has been in a slow death spiral.  Now, ironically, it looks like only the Egyptian military, from which Mubarak himself originated, can save the country.

Libya:  We helped oust Qadhafi, and ever since, it has been a failed state.  The central government controls less than 1/3 of the nation. Islamists control the rest. Many of the weapons we sent to the rebels has been used in other Islamist conflicts through out Africa, the most prominent being the Mali civil war.

Russia: Outside of the Middle East, the biggest diplomatic failure.  We are closer to a new Cold War than we have been since 1991.  Putin has no respect or love for Obama, and opposes him at every turn.

Al Qaeda/Islamic terrorists;  Probably deserves its own category.  Whether you are discussing Yemen, Kenya, or elsewhere, the death of Osama Bin Laden has done little if anything to stop the generational war that Islamists continue to fight, whether we admit it or not.

Simply put, no rational analysis of the world situation can result in thinking the world is more stable today than five years ago.  We can argue whether this is Obama’s fault or not, whether this is a historical trend we are swimming against, whether this all the fault of George W. Bush, or maybe the fault of Aliens.  But in short…Obama’s view is simply delusional.  There is no other way to describe it.

Obama/Hillary Doctrine In Tatters

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Egypt burns.  Syria lies in ruins.  Libya is falling apart.  Iraq may be close to civil war itself.  And Afghanistan never really improved after the Obama surge.

Here lies the remnants of Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama’s largest foreign policy vision, the Arab Spring.

President Barack Obama, aided by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, believed their own audaciousness could push many of the world’s hot spots into more peaceful methods of dialogue and understanding.  This was most prominent in what ended up to be called the ‘Arab Spring’.  Obama tried to take credit for those results, by pointing to his now famous/infamous 2009 Cairo speech.  That speech basically was an apology for the 8 years of George W. Bush, and letting the world know that there was a new order, led by his compatriots.

This month, we can pretty much evaluate the Obama policy: it is a complete and utter failure.

Egypt has always been a troublesome partner.  But the Obama people simply misread the situation over the past couple years; and the results are horrific.

When they helped urge the ouster of Hosni Mubarak two years ago, the results could have been predicted.  Countries don’t just evolve like a phoenix from the ashes of totalitarianism.  It takes time and effort to build the democratic infrastructure necessary. With Mubarak gone, there was no one other than the Egyptian military to do that.  The military is a force of stability throughout the Middle East; the naive mistake for the Obama State Department is, that does not make them necessarily a force for good.  They forget the history that the military was largely responsible for placing those totalitarian dictators in place in the first place.

So when Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood came to power, the Military was unhappy, and it showed. There was immediate friction.  And of course, the US had no interest in maintaining Morsi; however, despite how the media wants to spin it, the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi did clearly win the election (not that the election was anywhere near perfect; what election is in the Middle East?).  So we side, once again, with the Military, this time against Morsi (and refuse to call it a coup in the process)…and believe our standing among the Arab street would improve?

Now, the Military acts like they always do…they have a problem that looks like a nail, and they hammer it.  They will try to crush the Muslim Brotherhood.  The problem? If you believe surveys and polls, the Brotherhood’s support is growing. It was already about a third of the country, and may be pushing 40% now.  You cannot wipe out 40% of the nation.

You can see the incompetence repeated time after time after time; Egypt is just the newest example.  In Afghanistan, Obama took Bush’s successful surge concept from Iraq, and used it…and failed.  Afghanistan is probably more unsettled today than before Obama took office.  In Iraq, we have left the country; and as such, the only stabilizing force there no longer exists.  The country teeters on the edge of civil war, and we have no power to stop it.  In Syria, we could have helped by getting involved three years ago with simple outside assistance; today, there is full-blown Civil War, where both sides are actually our enemies.  Only a fool would try to get involved there.  And Libya has been spiraling from the moment Obama claimed victory there after Qaddafi’s killing.  The country is basically a failed state.

The Hillary Clinton/John Kerry Secretaries of State tandem may go down in history as one of the most incompetent ever.  They had an unsurpassed amount of good will upon Obama’s election in 2008; and they have squandered it.  The US is now less respected  in most countries than it was…under Bush.  That is quite an accomplishment.

Kerry travels around and makes ignorant statements, which the administration the next day has to rescind or alter just to save face.  As for Hillary, she begins her campaign for 2016; tell me, has anyone ever been more undeserving of praise than her?  It is the Democrat equivalent of Donald Rumsfeld failing at the Defense Department and then running for President.  Hillary, by every metric, failed at the State department, from Benghazi to Syria to Russia to China…and yet here she is, the presumptive favorite for her party’s nomination.

By every metric known to man, the Obama Administration foreign policy in the Middle East has failed.  It will take time for the media to catch on, as they are slow learners.  It will take even longer for Democrats, because they must at all costs protect Hillary’s legacy. But the truth is there to see, today.

 

This was crossposted at Neoavatara.