How the Obama Administration Let ISIS Happen

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s recent op-ed regarding the campaign against ISIS confirmed what many already knew: When confronting ISIS, the Obama administration does the bare minimum required to make it look as if it is doing something, while in reality it is doing very little.

President Barack Obama entered office with a hell-bent desire to “end wars” with no care as to how he would do this.

President Barack Obama entered office with a hell-bent desire to “end wars” with no care as to how he would do this—or to what the geo-strategic consequences might be if it was done poorly.

In 2010, after the White House failed to secure an agreement with Baghdad that would have allowed sizable U.S. forces to remain in Iraq, Obama declared the war in Iraq over. As subsequent events have shown, a war is not over simply because the president of the United States says it is.

Instead of a responsible phased withdraw of U.S. troops from Iraq, the U.S. cut and run. The White House says they did not have a choice—that it was Iraq that refused to sign an agreement to allow U.S. troops to remain. But the truth is that Obama did not use all of America’s political, economic, security, and diplomatic clout in Baghdad to secure an agreement for U.S. troops to remain. When the Iraqis said no, Obama was only too happy to oblige.

Five years later, ISIS controls huge swathes of the Sunni heartland, including Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. Iran has more influence in Baghdad than ever before and calls the shots in the Shia-dominated southern part of the country. The Kurds, who were forced to fight—literally—for their livelihoods, have essentially carved out a de facto nation-state that includes important oil-producing cities like Kirkuk.

Put simply, Iraq is a mess.

Obama’s response to the rise of ISIS and the deterioration of Iraq has been incremental. He has chosen to do the bare minimum required to make it look as though he is doing something, but in actuality he is doing next to nothing at all.

Incremental troop increases to Iraq, a few thousand trainers in Iraq, and an aircraft carrier repositioned in the Persian Gulf do not constitute a strategy.

The drip of U.S. forces back into the region is absent of a strategy and is the hallmark of a president in denial about the true security challenges the U.S. faces in the region, not only by ISIS, but also by Iran.

Ashton Carter’s recent remarks show how back-footed the U.S. is in fighting ISIS. His answer: the possibility of more U.S. troops in the region. How many troops? What will their mission be? Is there now a strategy?

If Carter knows the answers to any of these questions, he does not say.

Obama has little interest in confronting or desire to confront the threat ISIS poses. Having won his Nobel Peace Prize already and “ended” the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he will ride out the remaining months of his tenure by incrementally positioning U.S. forces in the region. This is a façade.

The next U.S. president will inherit a festering situation in the Middle East that is a result of Obama’s quixotic view of the world coupled with his incessant indecisiveness.

As research from The Heritage Foundation has pointed out, taking on ISIS in Iraq and checking them in Syria will require a significant ground force component. It will also require a strategy to help Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey with the refugee crisis and their security.

It will also require backing the Kurds with more military firepower, getting the Iraqi army back into the fight, and helping the political elite in Baghdad overcome Iraq’s toxic sectarian divisions that push Sunnis to ISIS and Shias to Iran.

More importantly, any new strategy will require U.S. leadership in the region that has been absent for years. Dithering has its consequences.

Until the U.S. decides to get in it to win it and develops a strategy with all the resources needed to implement it, ISIS will continue its march.

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Source material can be found at this site.

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One Comment

  1. Jeehad Bil Saif, the true face of Mahomet’s Islam was resurrected by Pax Americana in partnership with the Tent of Saud. Any suggestion that it happened because the US was “sleeping on the watch” rather than actively making it happen is patently false.

    This is not a war on ISIS that will be waged by the US. This is the appearance of war to deceive Americans that the White Hice is doing something about Islam. ISIS is a White Hice proxy. Turkey is ISIS ally. Turkey, Saudi, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, The White Hice and the rest of the Sunni(Petro-Dollar) Caliphate dislike the Kurds (including Yazidis) with the same intensity as they disliked the Liberal Socialist, Secular non Islamic Baathist States of Sadam Hussein’s Iraq and Al Assad’s Syria where there were free modern Universities and Hospitals, discos, bars unveiled women, thriving communities of Kuffars such as Jews, Christians, Yazidis and other such affronts to Islam.
    Face it, the White Hice are not the US. The White Hice, the State Department and the CIA are not accountable to the US people as much as internal US governance. From Nixon’s China and Pakistan to “contain India” (a suicidal India that is its own worst enemy with “reservations” and “corruption”), Bush (the Father’s) CIA to Reagan’s Iran-Contra and Taliban, to Clinton (the husband’s) bombing of Belgrade to cede Islam its first ethnically cleansed enclaves in Europe since 1489, to Bush (the Son’s) Iraq and Obama (The Holy Ghost’s) ISIS, the White Hice have been acting just as any mercenary on the pay roll of Sunni (Petro Dollar) Islam might. Pakistan is the US’s consistent cat’s paw to contain India since Nixon as it has been China’s since inception. Islamic Terror is Pakistan’s favoured and consistent weapon in dealing with India and has full White Hice blessings.
    For Obama, ISIS is not a question of choosing sides. It is a matter of fighting on his own side. Like Field Marshal Idi Amin, he might even retire to Riyadh to feed on European Blondes.

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