All Midshipmen and Cadets, while matriculating at one of the US Service Academies, are taught to fight to “Win” in academics, on the athletic field, and ultimately in combat—they learn that there is no substitute for victory!!
Unfortunately, the resident in the Oval Office’s plan to defeat the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL), is not a serious plan; there is no consistency, no clarity, and no obvious will to “Win” Allies have observed that Obama is calling the world to ride to an uncertain trumpet when he is not committed to it. The failure to execute an effective air campaign (the 150 air strikes over many weeks should have occurred on the first day of air campaign and everyday thereafter). The repeated statements by Obama that there will be no boots on the ground, and failure of the air campaign to strike supply lines, long convoys of armed terrorists, and weapons depots in Syria has signaled ISIL that the plan is not a serious plan.
The allies have watched over the last 6 years as Obama walked away from the victory in Iraq & refused to leave a residual US military force in Iraq overriding his own generals, Obama walked away from air strikes in Syria 3 years ago when Assad crossed the red line, he took out a friendly leader in Libya then walking away from a destabilized Libya that resulted in Al Q’ieda taking over Libya, walked away from the friendly Egyptian Army Junta after it removed the Moslem Brotherhood Mosci who was killing Christians, and Obama has sent a signal that he will walk away from Afghanistan leaving it to the Taliban and Al Q’ieda—Middle East & NATO allies are not interested in joining a consortium with a quitter who can’t be trusted to “Win” anything.
U.S. air power, the Kurdish Forces, the Iraqi Army (with an anti-Sunni Government), and the free Syrian Army cannot possibly defeat the 30,000 man ISIL army which is projected to soon grow to 60,000 men (ISIL is selling $3 million in black market oil to Turkey every day to fund its military operation). Air strikes will not be sufficient, when there is no effective command and control organization on the ground, there is no effective reconnaissance operation on the ground, when the US does not have the ability to capture combatants in order to develop actionable intelligence. The US is planning to spend one year to train 5000 Free Syrians Army personnel, while ISIL grows from 30,000 to 60,000 in the same year.
After 9/11 the US inserted small Special Operation Units and CIA Paramilitary forces on the ground in Afghanistan to coordinate with the Northern Alliance, in order to drive the Taliban, Al Q’ieda, and Osama Bin Laden out of Afghanistan The failure of Obama to commit small Special Operations and CIA Paramilitary forces units on the ground in Iraq is dooming Obama’s plan to failure—Obama keeps telling ISIL that there will be no boots on the ground—what other occupant of the Oval Officer in 238 years has ever told the enemy what the US will not do?.
The Obama administration continues to send confusing messages to reluctant US allies who are being asked to join a coalition to defeat ISIL, to the American people who are being asked to support Obama’s inept plan to defeat ISIL (68% of the American people believe Obama’s plan to “Win” is folly), and to Obama’s leftist allies in the Democratic Party to prevent them from being alarmed before the November election (the leftists, Socialists, and Marxists in the Democratic party do not want Obama to carry out a comprehensive “War Plan” to defeat ISIL they want to take funds away from the US military and use those funds to expand the bloated and inept welfare state rift with fraud).
Obama doesn’t have the strength of purpose to do what Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Reagan did to protect the homeland. Obama’s political policies are allowing ISIL terrorists to flood across the wide open southern border and threaten American citizens, while he hollows out the US Armed Forces, and creates a $1 trillion annual US deficient leading the nation to the brink of bankruptcy.
For the last 6 years, the Obama administration used drones to kill Al Q’ idea leaders who were immediately replaced by the next Al Q’ieda terrorist in line. They killed one leader after another who had a great deal of valuable intelligence, instead of employing small Special Operations units to capture the leaders, interrogate them, and develop the requisite intelligence to oppose the spread of Al Q’ieda worldwide. The net result of the killer drone policy that the Obama administration bragged about, has been that ISIL metastasized and Islamic terrorism spread throughout the world like cancer—while the Obama administration was blinded because they lacked actionable intelligence from captured Islamic terrorists.
Obama didn’t want to capture, interrogate, and jail terrorists in Gitmo, all he wanted to do was to kill terrorists in the field so he could close the Gitmo operation. The Gitmo interrogations developed an incredible amount of actionable intelligence, including providing the intelligence that led to the location of Bin Laden’s messenger, and that messenger ultimately led to US forces to the location of Osama Bin Laden’s lair in Pakistan, where SEAL Team SIX took out Bin Laden.
There is no Obama administration plan to pull out all the stops to “Crush” ISIL. We encourage you to read the below listed macro approach to Crush ISIL written by the former National Security Advisor in the Reagan Administration, the Hon Robert C. McFarlane, USNA ’59, Col-USMC (Ret); he is calling for the effective employment of diplomacy, applying economic pressure, training & support of Special Operation Forces, and not to continue following the past policy of “leading from behind”, but to exercise traditional effective US leadership to “Win”.
Robert “Bud” McFarlane is the Senior Advisor for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and supports the Combat Veterans For Congress.
A plan for crushing the Islamic State: Toothless diplomacy is no longer an option
By Robert McFarlane – – Wednesday, September 3, 2014
It is astonishing that nearly six years into the tenure of any administration the commander-in-chief would acknowledge publicly that he has no strategy for addressing an evident, serious threat to American interests.
Last week, marauders from the so-called Islamic State overran Tabqa air base in Syria, where MANPADS, or man-portable air-defense systems, are stored. These are the weapons that can bring down commercial aircraft. Considering the pledge of this group’s leader to take the war to the United States, they now have the means to do so whether targeting the takeoff of a U.S. commercial airliner from Dubai, or in a few weeks after penetrating the Mexican border, from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas.
Historically, every new administration spends the first year of its tenure enunciating goals — essentially, to keep the peace and establish a climate at home and abroad in which American interests can be advanced — and then developing strategies for achieving them in specific regions of the world. The process begins with the president stating his view of what our regional interests are, inviting the intelligence community and the Cabinet to identify how those interests are threatened, and then tasking these principals and staff to develop a range of integrated political, economic and military measures for defending and advancing American interests throughout the world. By the end of the first year, the president has evaluated the options submitted to him and has made decisions among them. He then goes about implementing them by publishing and explaining them to three constituencies — the American people, the U.S. Congress and our allies. While this process involves hard work and disciplined leadership, it’s not rocket science. Doing it well yields enormous benefits. It engenders confidence among the American people and nurtures cohesion and support among our allies. Finally, it puts adversaries on notice that we are a serious nation that has the will, the capability, a strategic plan and the resources to prevail against any challenge they might consider posing.
Since World War II, U.S. presidents have engaged this strategic process as a proven means for defining and announcing our interests overseas, assessing how they are threatened, and developing effective strategies designed to deter, or — if deterrence fails — to prevail in any conflict well in advance of any such conflict. In the Reagan administration, I had the privilege of managing that process, and in the ensuing years, it proved invaluable not only in identifying — and pre-empting — challenges still over the horizon, but in crisis management as well. In the remaining years of the current administration, there is still time for President Obama to lead in the resolution of the plethora of crises before us — starting with the threats posed by the Islamic State and concurrently in Ukraine, China and Iran.
Modern terrorism by Islamist groups has posed a “clear and present danger” to our country for more than 30 years. In Iraq, we are faced with an especially challenging form of it. A well-financed, well-armed and well-trained barbarous force has declared its intention, inter alia, to conduct operations against the United States on its way to establishing an Islamic caliphate of global reach and jurisdiction.
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Given the plausibility of their executing such a plan, the first comment our president must make is that this movement of uncivilized savages puts us all at risk — from Irbil to London, Chicago, Tokyo and Beijing — and that there is no basis for trying to reason with brainwashed, ideological, totalitarian, genocidal criminals bent on pursuit of an imperial strategy. The second is that they must be destroyed. Mr. Obama’s statement from Estonia on Wednesday was a good, though belated, beginning.
Developing a political, economic and military strategy for containing and then destroying the Islamic State is not something that will come easily for the president, given his proclivities toward engagement and toothless diplomacy. Yet in some respects, his task has been rendered less onerous. Politicians in every civilized state — especially European states that have known this menace was coming for years — understand that if they don’t join in countering this scourge in Syria and Iraq, they will face it in their own countries before long. This week, the president’s task is to forge consensus among his political counterparts in Western Europe to direct NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Philip Breedlove and the NATO military committee to work with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a plan for overcoming this menace.
Economically, it’s time to lean hard on the Gulf Arabs to shut down their formal and informal funding of radical Islamists. The diplomacy needed to get this done ought also to be a little easier than it would have been even five years ago. Their tenure is at risk, and they are palpably conscious of it. Separately, our work with European allies should involve closing their financial institutions to Islamist transactions.
The U.S. military must work with Kurdish, Kuwaiti, Egyptian, United Arab Emirates, Saudi, Jordanian and Iraqi forces to forge a strategy, first to contain and then to destroy the Islamic State’s forces. U.S. and allied tactical aviation can help limit the enemy’s mobility and provide fire support during engagements. However, the training and supervision of ground forces from the aforementioned countries in the struggle to regain lost territory must fall to experienced U.S. special operations advisory personnel — several thousand of them.
By their brashness and brutality, the Islamists may have provided an impetus and a window for the civilized world to come together and reverse their gains. It will take extraordinary leadership from Washington to oversee this battle and stay the course. That window may not remain open for long.
As soon as we have stemmed this tide — a year from now — we must turn to the agenda that we have for so long avoided — bringing the moderate Arabs, Kurds and Israel into a sustained conversation on regional security that leads toward reconciling their differences. To do so offers a revered place in history for the American president. Yet it will require a far better understanding of the nature of the challenge than has thus far been apparent, together with the courage and commitment to lead such an effort successfully.
ABOUT ROBERT MCFARLANE
Robert McFarlane served as President Reagan’s national-security adviser. He is currently a senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
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