What a joke! Except that its not funny.
Obama will not act unless someone else is there with us. Now…if that someone asks for our help, and it is not in our interest to do so, will we act? I suspect that Obama will. What he did in Libya is a case in point.
Obama is right in pulling back from the many commitments we have around the world. Many are obsolete and there is no national interest in remaining. Having forces in Bosnia is a case in point. We don’t need a division of heavy armor in Germany. Perhaps we should put the division in Poland and reserve German bases for quick reaction forces. Perhaps the quick reaction forces can be positioned in the US for immediate deployment to wherever they are needed. The bottom line is that we need to make our military both robust and nimble. We still need to deter Russian aggression with heavy armor and an air force but we also need to respond to terrorist skirmishes around the world.
Obama, rightfully, includes diplomacy in his foreign policy. However, his is a diplomacy from a position of weakness, when we need the opposite. So far, despite his claims to the contrary, Obama’s diplomacy efforts have failed. We have not deterred Russia in Ukraine. Their special forces are still acting as provacateurs in the East. They were successful in disrupting the elections in the eastern provinces. The Ukraine crisis is by no means finished and for Obama to declare victory is a farce.
In the entire speech there were exactly two references to Israel. One was regarding the Egyptian peace treaty and the other was regarding intelligence sharing on Iran. Obama talked about all our partners in the Middle East helping to contain terrorism without one reference to Israel.
Make no mistake…after this speech Israel is indeed on her own.
Obama is intent on helping the Syrian opposition who are worse than Assad. At least under the current regime the Christians and Jews are safe. In any case, its too little too late.
Obama seemed to be claiming victory in Libya just as it is devolving into stateless chaos. Just what we need.
Obama said that since al Qaeda “core” is defeated the terrorists don’t have the capacity to do another 9/11. That may be true. But what is to prevent them from sending in a few zealots to create mayhem in crowed malls or movie theatres? We know those things can happen. The only difference is that the terrorists (it doesn’t matter which group) can conduct coordinated attacks. All they need are weapons and synchronized watches. Its easy enough to smuggle them across our porous border if they aren’t already here.
Obama all but announced “peace in our time”.
I have been saying that we need to define what is in our national interest and use all our resources to protect it. Here are a few items that are in our national interest:
1) containing Russia
2) containing China
3) preventing terrorist attacks on US citizens overseas.
4) eliminating terrorist concentrations. This means headquarters and training camps for those groups that are a threat to us should be eliminated.
5) protecting the flow of commerce on the high seas. While our allies can help, few have the ability to do so. At a minimum we should protect the commerce flowing to the US.
6) protecting natural resources and related stuff upon which the US relies. In the past this meant oil fields. While these are not as important as they were in the past, they are still critical to the world (thus our) economy and should be protected. Our allies should help. The mining and distribution of critical minerals would also be included here. In many places this is done by local war lords using slave labor. While this is terrible it does not mean that we shouldn’t protect them if they are critical to our economy. Maybe we can also free the slaves in the process. In any case, we need not ask permission of the local government or the war lords to do what we need to do.
7) containing the expansion of militant Islam. Wherever we look Islam is directly connected to terrorism. We are always the great Satan. While we can’t convert the world we can do whatever it takes to make sure that the extremists stay where they are. This includes Iran and Syria. I would rather have a bunch of failed states harboring tribes of terrorists than having intact states who are funding the terrorists.
8) combating economic and cyber warfare that is already being waged (mostly by Russia and China) against us.
Containment needs diplomacy and a robust, traditional military.
Other strategies require diplomacy and a nimble military.
Both need a leader who doesn’t dither in the face of immediate danger. We need someone who will answer the 3:00 am call. We need someone who is not afraid to take action. We need someone who has already made the deliberations and who knows what to do rather than one who misses the boat by dithering.
We also need a Congress who will oversee the executive. They need to watch what is going on rather than reacting to events after the fact. They need to keep a tight watch on the purse strings but NOT be afraid to fund activities that are in our national interest. They, and the President, must make sure that we have enough reserve to counter any contingency. Cutting back from our two war strategy is no the way to do it. Rather, we should maintain the two war strategy and supplement it with the nimble military needed for the many small contingencies. We can’t do this by cutting our military spending.
I fear that Obama is leading us to disaster on the international front as well as domestically. We can slow it down by electing veto proof majorities in the House and Senate. We must work NOW to elect a new President who cares for our national interests abroad and our freedoms domestically.