2/5/15

These days, the airwaves are filled with analysis focused on whether President’s Obama strategy against ISIS and the war on terror is working or not.

Unfortunately, they are all getting it wrong.

Even a highly respected (by me—and that says a lot) commentator like Charles Krauthammer is suggesting that Obama’s strategy is this, that, or the other. The only (surprising) source to come close to the actual truth is Tom Ridge, the first Homeland Security Secretary under President George W. Bush. But even he did not go far enough.

Let me be very clear: President Obama does NOT have a strategy to fight ISIS or any other Islamic terror. He said so in the famous August “summer” press conference. True, given the backlash resulting from his admission of no strategy, within a month he came up with what ostensibly is a strategy to “degrade and demolish” (this White House Administration really believes in sound bites.).

The truth is—there is no strategy to conduct the war. They say there is, but then the President says anything he wants to, be it true or not, if he feels that it serves his purpose.

And the media? Well, they just take his word at face value no matter how clear it is that he is not telling the truth. President Obama doubled down on this hoax during an interview on Super Bowl Sunday by stating that the US is doing all that it can do. This is, of course, ridiculous on its face.

There is, however, a political strategy—a tried and tested strategy: APRÈS MOI, LE DÉLUGE, or “after me, the flood,” as in a flood of biblical proportions. That strategy can be defined as follows: Do as little as possible in order to avoid politically embarrassing criticism at home focused on the fact that I have no strategy, and then leave the problem to my successor.

That is Obama’s ONLY strategy in all matters of foreign conflicts. Obama has very little interest in foreign affairs in general. He sees those as distraction from his main goal, which is to convert America to socialism. His view on the rest of the world is that they will need to settle their differences without America. As far as the Middle East is concerned, he cares even less. Secretly, he hopes that they all kill each other: The Iranians and the Saudis, the Shia and the Sunni and, probably most of all, that the Arabs kill the Israelis who he really does not like. The stronger the bond between a country such as Israel with the US and its Congress, the more he dislikes it. Such a bond means that in order to meet his political strategy he must do more and get more involved in order to avoid criticism, which is contrary to that strategy—his doctrine—of doing as little as possible.

So, this president has no war strategy to degrade, to defeat . . . nothing. Let the next president worry about it.

But is there any viable strategy that can be put in place? Of course there is and I described the ONLY strategy that can work in my blog from September 2014, which is to create a coalition of Egypt, Saudi, ISRAEL, and Jordan to fight ALL threats simultaneously. In the Middle East, your enemy’s enemy is NOT your friend. He simply is your enemy too.

The terrible and unfortunate truth is that this president cannot, now, put into effect such strategy.

The naysayers will ridicule this suggested strategy. Their first attack—and the one laced with the most sarcasm and ridicule—will be regarding the involvement of Israel in the plan. It is a heresy and ignorance, they will proclaim, to suggest that Arab countries will go to war not AGAINST Israel but WITH Israel against other Arabs. But I strongly believe that times have changed and that the threats are so serious that Arab countries are willing to move on.

Given that the US has no will to put its own boots on the ground. Given that the other potential alternative is both unwilling to do it and looked at with suspicion by the Arab countries (referencing the Turkish military), the involvement of the Israeli military (the strongest one in the Middle East) is paramount for the success of this mission. Israeli involvement will need to limited and targeted: Air power, Special Forces, intelligence, and logistics, but it will need to be involved.

Egypt is already engaged in unprecedented security cooperation with Israel in fighting radical Islam in Sinai and Gaza. Jordan has a “secret” (except that everyone knows about it) security, or safety net, assurance from Israel—Israel will never allow the Hashemite Kingdom to fail. Many years ago when Syria threatened Jordan, it was enough for Israel to recruit some reservists and put its military on alert to make Syria back off. And finally: Saudi. In the summer Gaza War they were amazingly quiet. Not only did they not support Hamas in Gaza, they did not even condemn Israel. The waves of change are upon us and it is time to grasp them and slaughter that sacred cow (apologies to the cows . . . I have nothing against them).

Why would Israel want to join? Becoming part of a moderate Arab coalition to strike down radical Islam bodes well for Israel on many counts. The promise of taking this coalition after it wins and directing it against Iran and Hezbollah will also be a prize that Israel will not be able to resist. Generally, if Israel does not find itself as part of the forces reshaping the Middle East in such a dramatic way—as is now taking place—it will never fit into the Middle East. It is not good for Israel to stay on the sidelines.

Another attack by the so-called “experts” will be that even Arab nations are split and do not want to fight Sunni versus Sunni. This is such nonsense. I do not recall any hesitation from the ENTIRE Sunni world to join the US in fighting Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. At that time, Hussein was a major Arab leader and a Sunni bulwark. They were ALL there and actively participating. Admittedly, Hussein crossed the line by invading anther Arab Sunni state. So . . . ISIS has not crossed the lines???

No, the reason that this strategy cannot be put in place is one and one only: President Obama.

Not only is there no realistic chance of him changing his view of the world, in general, and the Middle East, in particular, even if lightning was to strike and he would have an epiphany, he has no credibility to put such a coalition together.

Such a coalition needs leadership, needs vision, and needs trust. President Obama has shown no leadership on any foreign affairs matter. His vision is completely the opposite of that which is needed for this mission and he abdicated all trust others may have had in him.

This president has an “enviable” track record of abandoning allies and cozying up to adversaries. Is there any way that President el-Sisi of Egypt will believe for one second that this president who left him on his own, who sided with his enemies (as recently as a week ago the White House hosted a delegation of the Muslim Brotherhood; considered by Egypt, and rightly so, to be a terror organization) will suddenly change his spots and become someone you can rely on? Someone you are willing to take significant risks for? Not a chance.

And Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu? You must be joking. This is the prime minister who was LITERALLY shown the back door by Obama (shortly after Obama was elected). The prime minister who White House sources called a liar and “chickenshit” (White House terms not mine). Will he be prepared to trust this president? No way. And the Saudi King, new though he is, he is in the same camp of not trusting Obama at all.

That is the problem. Once you create a certain type cast for yourself, in order to change it you need to ACT, not to talk. With leadership and trust, America could have led the way with relatively small levels of resources and commitments.

Having sacrificed any notion of world leadership, trust, or deterrent power, the only way the US under Obama can regain such standing is by deeds; committing huge ground forces and leading the charge.

Of course, Obama won’t do it and unfortunately the entire world AND the US will pay with blood and treasure for the failings of this president.