By: Denise Simon
Has anyone talked to Ashraf Ghani about the Taliban or the 5 detainees released from Guantanamo and handed over to Qatar? What is the near future for Afghanistan with the Talibans’ recent terror attacks? There is and remains a military stalemate between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan. Perhaps the agreement signed with Afghanistan is a clue.
We conclude that the security environment in Afghanistan will become more challenging after the drawdown of most international forces in 2014, and that the Taliban insurgency will become a greater threat to tan’s stability in the 2015–2018 timeframe than it is now.
The insurgency has been considerably weakened since the surge of U.S. and NATO forces in 2009, but it remains a viable threat to the government of Afghanistan. The coalition’s drawdown will result in a considerable reduction in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations by Afghan, U.S., and NATO forces. History suggests that the Taliban will use sanctuaries in Pakistan to regenerate their capabilities as military pressure on the movement declines. In the 2015– 2016 timeframe, we assess that the Taliban are likely to try to keep military pressure on the ANSF in rural areas, expand their control and influence in areas vacated by coalition forces, encircle key cities, conduct high-profile attacks in Kabul and other urban areas, and gain leverage for reconciliation negotiations. In 2016–2018, once the insurgency has had time to recover from the last several years of U.S. and NATO operations, a larger and more intense military effort will become increasingly likely.
We conclude that a small group of al Qaeda members, many of whom have intermarried with local clans and forged ties with Afghan and Pakistani insurgents, remains active in the remote valleys of northeastern Afghanistan. However, as a result of sustained U.S. and Afghan counterterrorism operations, this group of al Qaeda members does not currently pose an imminent threat to the U.S. and Western nations. Further, so long as adequate pressure is maintained via U.S. and Afghan counterterrorism operations, the group is unlikely to regenerate the capability to become a substantial threat in the 2015–2018 timeframe.
We conclude that, in the likely 2015–2018 security environment, the ANSF will require a total security force of about 373,400 personnel in order to pro- vide basic security for the country, and cope with the Taliban insurgency and low-level al Qaeda threat.
The United Nations provided a report in December of 2014 that in part reads: The present report provides an update on the situation since the fourth report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team was submitted to the Committee on 30 April 2014 (S/2014/402). The inauguration of the new President of Afghanistan on 29 September marked the first democratic and peaceful transition of executive authority in the history of Afghanistan. This was achieved despite intensive efforts by the Taliban to disrupt the second round of the presidential elections on 14 June 2014. The Taliban also exploited the political uncertainty following the elections until a government of national unity was formed in September 2014. Consequently, 2014 saw a significantly elevated number of Taliban attacks across Afghanistan, marking an increase in their activity.
Although the current fighting season has not yet concluded, the prospects of the Taliban breaking the strategic stalemate look slim despite the almost complete withdrawal of international combat troops. The most intensive military onslaught of the Taliban during the 2014 fighting season resulted in several district centres in the south and the east being overrun, but only briefly, as the government forces proved resilient and were able to recapture them within days. Meanwhile, an intensive Taliban effort to take control of Sangin district in Helmand Province failed.
On the political front, the Taliban leadership remains largely opposed to reconciliation, despite some elements that argue in favour. Hardliners from the “Da Fidayano Mahaz”1 (not listed), the “Tora Bora Mahaz” (not listed) and other affiliates push for renewed military efforts and argue that a campaign of attrition will wear out government forces and institutions over a period of several years. Meanwhile, the pragmatists associated with the Mu’tasim Group argue for a negotiated settlem ent, which they believe could be to the Taliban’s advantage.
Stability in Afghanistan in 2015 and beyond will depend on two essential factors: the sustainability of external economic assistance, which is crucial to supporting the Government of Afghanistan and the national security forces and their continued development, and the persistence of Afghan confidence in government institutions and security forces, which is crucial to maintaining morale.
Regrettably, the Monitoring Team continues to receive a steady — albeit officially unconfirmed — flow of media reports indicating that some listed individuals have become increasingly adept at circumventing the sanctions measures, the travel ban in particular. Continuing to raise awareness with all stakeholders of the central role of the sanctions measures and their implementation as part of the wider political strategy of the international community remains one of the key tasks of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011) and the Team. *** Al-Qaida associates
There was a distinct increase in the activities and the visibility of Al-Qaida- affiliated entities in Afghanistan in 2014 (see annex II for an overview of the various Al-Qaida entities active in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region and of how they relate to one another). Although geographically removed from Afghanistan, the recent events in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, specifically the success of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), currently listed as Al-Qaida in Iraq (QE.J.115.04), present a challenge to the Taliban as a movement. In January 2014, the Afghan security forces seized propaganda material originating from an Iraq-based Al-Qaida affiliate in north-eastern Afghanistan. According to official information provided by Afghan officials to the Team, in mid-2014 the Taliban leadership was concerned that the success of ISIL in parts of northern Iraq would draw young people who were potential Taliban recruits to join ISIL in Iraq.
Although this did not happen, apparently because of how difficult it is to travel to Iraq, the Monitoring Team has received a steady stream of as yet unconfirmed reports and press articles pointing to the existence of direct contacts between individuals associated with the Taliban and individuals associated with ISIL. For example, it has been reported in several Afghan media articles that the current ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, listed as Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai (QI.A.299.11), lived in Kabul during the Taliban regime and cooperated closely with Al-Qaida groups in Afghanistan at the time.28 In addition, Taliban splinter groups such as the Da Fidayano Mahaz and the Tora Bora Mahaz continue to regularly report on and glorify ISIL activities on their websites.29 The Team will continue to monitor this situation and report to the Committee once it is able to present an official confirmation.
Currently, two prominent supporters of ISIL from the Afghan Taliban — Mawlavi Abdul Rahim Muslimdost (not listed), who is a leader of the “Jama’at al Da’wa ila al-Qur’an wa Ahl al-Hadith” (not listed) in Kunar Province, and Mawlavi Abdul Qahir (not listed) — have endorsed the leader of ISIL, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.30 Most other leaders of the Jama’at al Da’wa ila al-Qur’an wa Ahl al-Hadith had sworn allegiance to Mullah Omar’s “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” in 2010.31
The Tora Bora Mahaz is a militant group operating in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, that is reportedly under the operational control of the Taliban and its leader Anwar al-Haqq Mujahid (not listed), son of Yunus Khalis (not listed), who served as a Taliban shadow provincial governor. The group has primarily been attacking government forces in Nangarhar Province (see S/2014/402, para. 21). It publishes a magazine, Tora Bora, and maintains a website, on which it regularly cross-posts videos produced by ISIL.
At the individual level, some Arab nationals affiliated with Al-Qaida in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border area remain in touch with those who left for Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. When in July a drone strike killed six Al-Qaida-affiliated individuals in North Waziristan, Abdul Mohsen Abdallah Ibrahim al Charekh (QI.A.324.14) — currently serving with the Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant (QE.A.137.14) — expressed grief over the loss of his friends.
A militant group calling itself “Al-Tawhid Battalion in Khorasan” (not listed) pledged allegiance to ISIL. The Abtalul Islam Media Foundation posted a statement from the group using its Twitter account on 21 September 2014. In the message, the leader of the Al-Tawhid Battalion, Abu Bakr al-Kabuli (not listed), pledged loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and asked him if the group should fight in Khorasan or wait to join the ranks of ISIL, whether in Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic, Afghanistan or Pakistan.33 The position of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (QI.H.88.03), the leader of the Hizb-I- Islami Gulbuddin, concerning the political situation in Afghanistan remains contradictory. On the one hand, he is seeking an enhanced political role for Hizb-I- Islami Gulbuddin in post-NATO Afghanistan. Some leading members of his party are involved in intense negotiations with the President, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and with Abdullah Abdullah to explore options for future cooperation that include the possibility of joining the new Government.34 Hekmatyar has also supported the holding of an intra-Afghan dialogue without foreign interference.35 On the other hand, Hekmatyar has criticized the signing by Afghanistan of a bilateral security agreement with the United States and claimed that a continued foreign presence means nothing but war. He has also lashed out at Iran (Islamic Republic of) and Pakistan for supporting the deal.
From the brilliant mind of Michael Ramirez…
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
It couldn’t be more obvious to me that Obama and his Administration are in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. This past week, they held a confab at the State Department concerning their ongoing efforts to oppose the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, who rose to power following the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, an ally of the Brotherhood, in 2013. And that just pissed Obama off to no end. Not hard to tell where his allegiances lie and they certainly aren’t with Israel.
Waleed Sharaby, who is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood, posed for a selfie in front of the State Department emblem while showcasing the Muslim Brotherhood Rabia four-finger sign. The caption under the pic says, “Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone.” The sign is named after Rabia Square in Cairo, where a large anti-coup sit-in was held for about forty days before it was dispersed. The sign is meant to express solidarity with the thousands wounded, killed and burnt by the Egyptian army during the dispersal and persistence of the anti-coup movement, whereas pro-coup activists, figures and media consider the sign to be a terrorist sign. Or should that be called an ‘armed insurgent’ sign since we are not allowed to call the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban or CAIR the scum bag terrorists they are? Confusing, huh? Only certain terrorists are actually terrorists according to Obama. Only the ones he doesn’t snuggle with. Actually, doing away with the word ‘terrorist’ altogether is straight out of CAIR’s playbook. Radical Islamists of a feather and all that.
The delegation not only included Sharaby, it also had on board Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor as part of its makeup. Maha Azzam, who was also part of the delegation, proclaimed that the talks were ‘fruitful.’ Yeah, I bet they were. Azzam was speaking at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). This is yet another group accused of having close ties to the Brotherhood. Azzam also declared that the State Department expressed openness to engagement. Quoi? Engage in what precisely? So, does this mean that the Brotherhood is now just another arm of our State Department? It’s sure beginning to look that way.
Any fool can see that Obama is still supporting putting the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt and wants al-Sisi dealt with and gone. State Department officials would not comment on the content of the talks, several of which consisted of public get-togethers (by invitation) in Maryland and Virginia last week. I’m sure they had cocktails, while discussing the ouster of al-Sisi and the destruction of Israel.
From Patrick Poole:
Patrick Poole, a terrorism expert and national security reporter, said the powwow at the State Department could be a sign that the Obama administration still considers the Brotherhood politically viable, despite its ouster from power and a subsequent crackdown on its members by Egyptian authorities.
“What this shows is that the widespread rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, particularly the largest protests in recorded human history in Egypt on June 30, 2013, that led to Morsi’s ouster, is not recognized by the State Department and the Obama administration,” Poole said.
“This is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood, all in the pursuit of the mythical ‘moderate Islamists’ who the D.C. foreign policy elite still believe will bring democracy to the Middle East,” Poole said.
Two days after the delegation meeting, the Muslim Brotherhood called for “a long, uncompromising Jihad” in Egypt. They released an official statement calling on their supporters to “prepare” for Jihad, according to an independent translation of the statement first posted on Tuesday.
In typical Muslim Brotherhood fashion, the releases in Arabic and English contradicted each other. Look to the Arabic translation for their true intentions. The English release is propagandic taqiyya for the infidels and nothing but lies:
A call for “a long, unrelenting Jihad” appeared on the Brotherhood’s Arabic language website Tuesday. The statement, first reported Friday by the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, starts by invoking a passage from the Quran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of God will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”
On its English language website Friday, the Brotherhood struck a dramatically different tone in an article in which it “Reiterates Commitment to Non-Violence.”
The English posting says Brothers who stray from non-violence “no longer belong in the Brotherhood, and the group no longer accepts them, no matter what they do or say.”
The statement was also released just two days before a major terror attack Thursday in Egypt’s lawless Sinai region, that killed at least 25. On Thursday, a speaker on a Brotherhood-affiliated television station warned foreign tourists and business interests to leave Egypt next month, or risk becoming a “target for the revolutionary punishment movements.” Something very similar was posted on Facebook.
The Brotherhood’s call for Jihad was published to invoke founding ideologue Hasan al-Banna, who “prepared the Jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers…”
“For everyone must be aware that we are in the process of a new phase,” the statement concludes, “in which we summon what of our power is latent within us, and we call to mind the meaning of Jihad, and prepare ourselves and our children, wives and daughters, and whoever marches on our path for a long, unrelenting Jihad. We ask in it the abodes of the martyrs.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is gearing up for bloody terrorist activities, chief among which will be the attempted assassination of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in all likelihood.
The statement shows an image of two crossing swords and the word “prepare!” between them. Below the swords it reads, “The voice of truth, strength, and freedom.” According to the statement, “that is the motto of the Dawa of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Al-Sisi is the one who once he became President of Egypt, outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood once more for being terrorists. He’s thrown many of them and their supporters in prison and executed a number of them, I believe. He’s also the one who just recently called for the reformation of the Islamic religion.
The Brotherhood considers this unforgivable and now are out to kill al-Sisi even more. While experts claim that the delegation and then the declaration of Jihad are an embarrassment to the State Department, I highly doubt that. They are part and parcel of the declaration of Jihad and they want the removal of al-Sisi as well. Timing is everything.
Once again, I will refer you to the wisdom of terrorism expert Patrick Poole:
“It invokes the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist past, specifically mentioning the ‘special apparatus’ that waged terror in the 1940s and 1950s until the Nasser government cracked down on the group, as well as the troops sent by founder Hassan al-Banna to fight against Israel in 1948,” he said.
“It concludes saying that the Brotherhood has entered a new stage, warns of a long Jihad ahead, and to prepare for martyrdom,” Poole said. “Not sure how much more clear they could be.”
Poole wondered if the call for Jihad would convince Brotherhood apologists that the group still backs violence.
“What remains to be seen is how this announcement will be received inside the Beltway, where the vast majority of the ‘experts’ have repeatedly said that the Brotherhood had abandoned its terrorist past, which it is now clearly reviving, and had renounced violence,” Poole said. “Will this development be met with contrition, or silence? And what says the State Department who met with these guys this week?”
Crickets ensued from the State Department and the Obama Administration. Gee, I’m soooo surprised. Not. The Brotherhood is within our ranks, roaming freely and with great power now. America is now standing against our ally al-Sisi and we want him destroyed. We now are standing against Israel, trying to manipulate her elections and treating Netanyahu abysmally. We actively train and arm the Palestinians to kill Jews. We are aiding Iran in nuking up. We won’t call Islamic terrorists, terrorists. Depending on the day of the week, the mood of the moment and who is watching, we are either conducting faux attacks on radical Islamists or helping them. Watch what your leaders are actively doing – don’t just listen to their spewed lies.
By welcoming the delegation of the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama tacitly gave his approval for terrorism. If al-Sisi is killed, his blood will be on Obama’s already dripping hands.
Here are some clips from Muslim Brotherhood TV channels. Several death threats were made against the Egyptian president and the journalists who support him on these videos.
Cleric Salama Abd Al-Qawi said on Rabea TV that anyone who killed al-Sisi would be doing a good deed. Cleric Wagdi Ghoneim told Misr Alan TV that “whomever can bring us the head of one of these dogs and Hell-dwellers” would be rewarded by Allah and commentator Muhammad Awadh said on Misr Alan TV, that the punishment for the “inciting coup journalists” was death. I wonder what Obama’s reward will be as he bows to Allah and supports global Jihad?
As the Muslim Brotherhood takes pics in front of the US seal at the State Department, one wonders if prayer rugs are now littering those halls and our officials can be found bowing before a different kind of god than was imagined at our Founding. The Muslim Brotherhood calls for “a long, uncompromising Jihad” in Egypt after meeting with the US State Department – Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood together once again, working for the Ummah, not the US.
By: Lloyd Marcus
Happy New Year my fellow Americans. Getting my butt back into the gym is my New Year Resolution. I saw a guy I thought was around my age who looked fantastic, very muscular. He said he was 57; his secret was protein and creatine supplements.
As I begin 2015, another year into the battle to save my country, I observe the daily news thinking, “Same old, same old.” President Obama continues to, in essence, give congress and American voters the finger; arrogantly governing unilaterally against the best interest, the will and protection of the American people.
My dear friend Victoria Jackson, former star of SNL has been deemed a nut case for calling Obama a Muslim and a communist. http://bit.ly/1C5Obta While I can not confirm whether or not Vickie and other pundits are correct in their assessment, clearly Obama is on a different page than those of us who love freedom and America.
The question which continues to nag millions of Americans is why does this man do what he does? Why Mr President, why?
After abdicating your responsibility to enforce immigration law, why did you sued Arizona for enforcing immigration law; leaving Arizonians open to attacks from immigration smugglers and violent Mexican drug cartels? http://reut.rs/1AP7Mi4
Why are you planning to give illegals social security numbers, opening the floodgates for them to claim any number of credits; rewarding them for entering our country illegally with checks written by American taxpayers? http://bit.ly/1C5VWzo
You once admitted that an influx of illegal immigrants will harm “the wages of blue-collar Americans” and “put strains on an already overburdened safety net.” http://bit.ly/1uCOrPF Why then would you implement an open border policy guaranteed to attract the poor from around the world; encouraging them to break our immigration laws and receive taxpayer funded handouts? http://yhoo.it/1508ZI6
Why have you forced schools across America to take in illegal students carrying various diseases? http://bit.ly/1BZD33i
Why did you refuse to call the shooting at Ft Hood a “terrorist attack” which blocked the victims and their families from receiving their entitled combat benefits? http://bit.ly/14UDTlK Why did you run to read the Boston bomber his Miranda rights which blocked interrogators from questioning him about other planned attacks on Americans? http://bit.ly/14yvFyB
Why did you join Al “scumbag” Sharpton and other race profiteers in furthering their insidious divisive hate-generating lie that America’s police target and murder blacks? http://bit.ly/1AZJOmS
Why did you lie to the American people on at least 29 occasions that if they like their health-care plan and their doctor they could keep them? http://bit.ly/1DXzBpn
Why did you attempt to bully the beautiful ministry of Little Sisters of the Poor, a 100 year old order of nuns to violate their faith by forcing them to sign a form supporting abortion services? http://bit.ly/1AOMv83
Why does your Obama care continue to cause millions to lose health care plans they like and Cancer patients losing their doctors credited with saving their lives? http://bit.ly/1BZBNwW
Why did you deny additional security requests at our consulate in Benghazi which lead to the death of U.S. Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans during a 9/11/2012 terrorist attack? http://bit.ly/14V4X4g Why did you order the Benghazi Annex security team to “stand down” rather than attempt to rescue our Ambassador? http://bit.ly/1DFlFTs
Why were military assets not deplored to defend our Benghazi consulate and save our Ambassador? http://tws.io/17GYomR
Why did you send Susan Rice on five national TV shows to knowingly lie to the American people, telling them that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Muslim youtube video that was seen by hardly anyone? http://bit.ly/SbNnmb Why do you persist in claiming that the war on terror is over despite glaring worldwide evidence proving otherwise? http://fxn.ws/1IJB1Vk
Why did you choose to pass on attending the historic Paris, France rally in which 40 nations came together against Islamic extremism? http://bit.ly/1BZwxcQ Why do you refuse to admit that we are at war with radical Islam?
Why did you release five lethal Taliban terrorist leaders and continue to release other terrorists certain to reenter the battlefield to kill more Americans? http://bit.ly/S8lElp
Why did you demand that the name of Jesus be covered up on a stage before you spoke? And yet, you passionately defend Islam. http://lat.ms/14y9Ije Why did you offer a new asylum decree favoring Muslims over Christians? http://bit.ly/1hiVCmU
Why have you forcefully burdened our military with social engineering policies which critics say will undermine good order and discipline for decades? http://bit.ly/1DZIyOP
Why have you launched a war on coal estimated to cost nearly a quarter-million jobs per year and force plants across America to close? http://bit.ly/1yhWZfa
Why do you vow to Veto the Keystone XL oil pipeline bill which will further energy independence and create jobs for thousands of Americans? http://bit.ly/1AAIC98
Folks, cited in this article is only the tip of the iceberg of Obama’s war on America as founded: his attacks on traditional Americanism and Christian values – his unseemly attempts to divide us along racial lines to silence opposition to his overreaches – his thuggish use of government agencies to bully and intimidate Americans into submission http://bit.ly/1KKx9XS – his encouraging the sin of covetousness/class envy to divide Americans along economic lines – his attempts to addict as many Americans as possible to government dependency and his relentless efforts to diminish the worldwide influence of the United States of America.
Who are you Mr President? Why are you always on the wrong side of what is best for America and her people? What is your ultimate goal?
Many of us are scratching our heads, asking;…why Mr President, why?
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
It’s been a gradual process, but we welcome former New York Times columnist Leslie Gelb to the realization that President Barack Obama’s leadership has been disastrous for this country. Last October Gelb wrote, “While Obama inherited rather than caused many of the world’s current crises, his habitual complacency and passivity prevent him from mitigating or resolving them.”
By November, Gelb had scathing criticism for Obama, writing for The Daily Beast that “The leak suggests that Mr. Obama remains blind to the principal cause of his foreign policy woes… he is the person most responsible for the absence of a U.S. foreign policy strategy, for policy zigs and zags, and for the loss of credibility and power. The essential fault lies not with the stars around him, however dim, but with himself.”
The failure to send a high-ranking member of the Obama administration to Paris for the so-called unity rally was the last straw for Mr. Gelb, whose impeccable establishment credentials include board senior fellow and president emeritus at the Council on Foreign Relations. He even acknowledges it in The Daily Beast title: “This Is Obama’s Last Foreign Policy Chance.”
Gelb said that failing to go to Paris or to send the vice president was more than a “horrible gaffe,” adding that it “demonstrated beyond argument that the Obama team lacks the basic instincts and judgment necessary to conduct U.S. national security policy in the next two years. It’s simply too dangerous to let Mr. Obama continue as is—with his current team and his way of making decisions. America, its allies, and friends could be heading into one of the most dangerous periods since the height of the Cold War.”
But unfortunately, this wasn’t Obama’s last foreign policy chance. Gelb recommends that Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Denis McDonough, and Valerie Jarrett should go. There is no doubt that these four have helped make an utter mess of American foreign policy, but largely at the direction of their boss.
Gelb suggests that President Obama add establishment Republican Thomas Pickering, who is soft on Iran and also complicit in the Benghazi cover-up as the Chair of the discredited Accountability Review Board (ARB), the State Department creation that didn’t even interview then-Secretary of State Clinton, and informed Mrs. Clinton through her aide, Cheryl Mills, when the vice chair of the ARB became concerned about the testimony of one of the witnesses.
“Pickering has personally explored opening relations with Hamas; pushed peace talks with the Taliban; argued for getting rid of, or removing to the U.S., all tactical nuclear weapons in Europe (and moving Russia’s to east of the Urals); and promoted bilateral talks with Iran without preconditions,” wrote Andy McCarthy. These are the credentials to pull our country out of its foreign policy disasters?
Actually, we may not even agree with Gelb’s belief that the President should replace his current team, or whether that even matters. And that is because of another point he makes: “In the end, making the national security system work comes down to one factor, one man—Barack Obama. He’s the key problem, and he’s the only one who can bring about a solution.”
What Gelb’s column fails to recognize is that this isn’t a problem of President Obama receiving bad advice. It is that he is ideologically driven, and his agenda is clearly antithetical to America’s national security needs and interests. This has been apparent since before the President took office, but it was laid bare in his first year in office. It is just that virtually everyone at The New York Times and other foreign policy establishment institutions either didn’t recognize it, or thought his presidency would be a great antidote to the “cowboy” foreign policy, as they saw it, of the George W. Bush era.
Consider these following presidential actions:
- President Obama’s Cairo speech in his first months, where he invited the Muslim Brotherhood, and didn’t invite the then-president of Egypt to attend;
- His hands-off approach to the green revolution in Iran that possibly could have overthrown that dangerous, terrorist sponsoring, corrupt regime;
- The unilateral removal of our missile defense system from Poland and the Czech Republic;
- His ongoing pledge to shut down Guantanamo Bay;
- His immediate demands on Israel that proved both wrong and counterproductive for what he was hoping to achieve;
- The unnecessary war in Libya, and the ensuing Islamic terrorist attack on our Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi, and the obvious lies and dereliction of duty that went along with it;
- The current phony war against ISIS, with a plan to defeat them that would be absurd if it wasn’t so tragic;
- His lies and distortions about the nature of the threat in today’s world, which include the West’s failure to confront Islamist, jihadist terrorism and growing influence of the caliphate.
Thursday’s Wall Street Journal had an article about the Iraqis’ growing impatience with how the U.S. and its coalition are carrying out the war against the Islamic State (IS), with whom we’re supposedly in a years-long process of degrading and destroying. “The swelling disapproval reflects Iraqi impatience at the U.S.-led mission’s multiyear strategy against Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Many Iraqis see the insurgents as an immediate threat pulling their country apart amid immense suffering,” reports the Journal. “Some Iraqis even believe the coalition is aiding the extremists by airdropping weapons into the third of the country they control.”
It has put us in the position of coordinating with Iran, and the Iranian backed militias are doing much of the fighting on the ground. At the same time, we are supposedly attempting to defeat ISIS in Syria, where we are doing some of the dirty work for Syrian president Basher al Assad, another Iranian proxy.
Mr. Gelb, we’ve just outlined how President Obama’s foreign policy team has been mishandling the hard questions—since day one—and Paris was, unfortunately, just a flash in the pan that momentarily illuminated the President’s perverse ideological strategic vision. He wasn’t there, nor did he send Vice President Biden, because he doesn’t stand in solidarity with the views of the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, who said in the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris that left a total of 17 dead, “We’re at war, but not at war against a religion, not against a civilization, but at war to defend our values, which are universal.” He added, “It is a war against terrorism and radical Islam, against everything aimed at breaking solidarity, liberty and fraternity.”
The problem is not a lack of policy, or rearranging the circle of advisers—it’s Obama’s ideology and actual policies themselves that have us in this mess that Leslie Gelb has come to recognize.