Daily it seems the foreign policy priorities of President Obama are misguided at the least and wrong headed at worst. It appears that President Obama is more concerned with fighting Ebola in Liberia than fighting the Islamic State in Iraq.
How do we know? By the number of our soldiers he is putting at risk to address each crisis.
Fighting Ebola is not a role for the U.S. Military. That is a role for the international health community and other non-governmental organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO website states, “It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.”
The role of the U.S. Military is to close with and destroy the enemy using all means available. Fighting a pandemic in Liberia is not part of our military’s mission nor is it an existential threat to the U.S. The best way to fight Ebola is quarantine. Do not allow those infected to come to the United States.
The Weekly Standards William Kristol asks, “Aren’t there other parts of the U.S government suited to carry on this fight? If not, shouldn’t there be? Max Boot suggested building such a non-military civilian ability in the pages of this magazine over a decade ago. Surely an administration committed to smart power would have developed the civilian capabilities to fight a virus without deploying 3,000 troops?”
What President Obama is doing is exposing our soldiers to the deadly Ebola virus. These soldiers will all be returning to the United States and some of them may become infected. There is a potential for all 3,000 to be infected, as they are neither trained nor equipped to deal with this Ebola crisis.
President Obama is sending 300 soldiers, boots on the ground, to take on the existential threat of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. This is too small of a force to make any substantial difference even with air superiority. The U.S. military experience fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan does not equate to the threat of the Islamic State. The two theaters of operation differ in terms of terrain, enemy strength, how IS is armed and funded.
President Obama is putting these 300 in the same situation as King Leonidas did when he led 300 Spartans to hold back the Persian Army of Xerxes. A potential massacre of our soldiers.
Neither decision makes any sense militarily. Neither decision makes sense from a foreign policy perspective. The only way these two decisions make sense is from a political perspective.
President Obama wants to be both the humanitarian and war fighter. Sadly the price for his faulty decisions will be paid by our soldiers who are being put into untenable situations.
It appears President Obama is focused on November 6, 2014 and not the long term national security of the United States.