Mr. President, You’re no Dwight Eisenhower!

Mr. President, You’re no Dwight Eisenhower!

© David Burton 2014

President Obama - the Armchair Genreal

     President Obama has revived the naïve and failed policy of appeasement and negotiation with the Islamic/Arab world instead of continuing the war against Islamic terrorism which was being won! In hindsight, it is now clear that that his policy of full troop withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 created a security vacuum that has resulted in the emergence of ISIS in that country and Syria. It is now also clear that the U.S. should have armed the Syrian rebels earlier which would have impeded ISIS from gaining traction in that war-torn nation.

     Over the past 5 decades, the history of America’s presidents trying to manage conflicts from the oval office has largely been one of abject failure, from Viet Nam, to Jimmy Carter’s disaster with Iran. Now we have President Obama’s “we’re leaving”, “we’re staying”, “we’re coming back”, “we won’t put American boots on the ground”, “we’ll put some non-combat boots on the ground”, to “we’ll put some combat boots on the ground”, exemplifying an incoherent strategy, a lack of understanding of a determined and unyielding enemy that is bent upon world conquest and the destruction of the last two millennia of human progress.

     In 2013, President Obama showed his naiveté and total lack of understanding of the war being waged against America and the rest of civilization by radical Islamic extremists. At that time, “Barack Obama declared that al-Qaeda was ‘on the path to defeat’. Its surviving members, he said, were more concerned for their own safety than with plotting attacks on the West. Terrorist attacks of the future, he claimed, would resemble those of the 1990s—local rather than transnational and focused on ‘soft targets’. His overall message was that it was time to start winding down George Bush’s war against global terrorism.
     “Mr. Obama might argue that the assault on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi by al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate, the Shabab, was just the kind of thing he was talking about: lethal, shocking, but a long way from the United States. Yet the inconvenient truth is that, in the past 18 months, despite the relentless pummeling it has received and the defeats it has suffered, al-Qaeda and its jihadist allies have staged an extraordinary comeback. The terrorist network now holds sway over more territory and is recruiting more fighters than at any time in its 25-year history. Mr. Obama must reconsider.
      - - -
     “. . . the poisoning of the Arab spring has given al-Qaeda and its allies an unprecedented opening. The coup against a supposedly moderate Islamist elected government in Egypt has helped restore al-Qaeda’s ideological power. Weapons have flooded out of Libya and across the region, and the civil war in Syria has revived one of the network’s most violent and unruly offshoots, al-Qaeda in Iraq, now grandly renamed the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham {ISIS}.
      - - -
     “How much should Western complacency be blamed for this stunning revival? Quite a bit. Mr Obama was too eager to cut and run from Iraq. He is at risk of repeating the mistake in Afghanistan. America has been over-reliant on drone strikes to “decapitate” al-Qaeda groups [Emphasis mine] . . . The general perception of America’s waning appetite for engagement in the Middle East, underlined by Mr. Obama’s reluctance to support the moderate Syrian opposition in any useful way has been damaging as well. (Ref. 1)

     Contrast Obama’s indecisiveness and attempts to micromanage a growing war from his desk in the White House to that of President George H. Bush and General Norman Shwartzkopf in fighting the First Gulf War. President Bush ordered the American military to defeat Sadam Hussein after his invasion of Kuwait and he gave General Schwartzkopf the authority and the resources to carry out that mission. General Schwartkopf assembled the resources needed and in one swift and overwhelming campaign largely destroyed the Iraqi army and drove them out of Kuwait. There was no meddling or micromanaging from Washington. The orders given were clear and direct – defeat the enemy.

     “President Barack Obama has quietly approved guidelines in recent weeks to allow the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaeda after this year . . .
     “The president's decisions also allow the military to conduct air support for Afghan operations when needed. Obama issued the guidelines in recent weeks, as the American combat mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, thousands of troops return home, and the military prepares for narrower counterterrorism and training mission for the next two years.
     "Obama's moves expand on what had been previously planned for next year. One U.S. official said the military could only go after the Taliban if it posed a threat to American forces or provided direct support to al-Qaeda, while the latter could be targeted more indiscriminately.
     " ‘To the extent that Taliban members directly threaten the United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan or provide direct support to al-Qaeda, however, we will take appropriate measures to keep Americans safe,’ . . .
     The Taliban's presence in Afghanistan far exceeds that of al-Qaeda, adding significance to Obama's authorization. The president's decision came in response to requests from military commanders who wanted troops to be allowed to continue to battle the Taliban, . . .
      - - -
     “The decision to expand the military's authority does not impact the overall number of U.S. troops that will remain in Afghanistan. Earlier this year. Obama ordered the American force presence to be cut to 9,800 by the end of this year, a figure expected to be cut in half by the end of 2015.
     “The president wants all U.S. troops to be out of Afghanistan a year later, as his presidency draws to a close. [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 2)

     Unfortunately, President Obama is more interested in keeping a promise made during his presidential campaign some 6-plus years ago than defeating a vicious enemy and freeing a nation from the clutches of a barabaric and intolerant regime. What ever happened to the “We will not forget!” promise of 2001?

     The Afghan military has stated that “many military officers who are involved in direct fighting with the Taliban and other insurgents {have reported} that still there is a need for more cooperation, there is need for an ongoing U.S. combat mission and there is need for U.S. air support for the Afghan security forces to help them in their fight against the insurgents.” (Ref. 2)

     There continues to be a pressing need for American and NATO forces to continue their battle against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

     As 2014 was drawing to a close, “The Taliban are flexing their muscle with a series of high-profile attacks . . . showing they are far from defeated as the U.S. prepares to withdraw most of its forces from Afghanistan at year’s end.
     “The Taliban have staged at least 12 attacks targeting foreigners in the past three weeks, many of them inside Kabul.
     “. . . critics who have watched the Islamic State sweep over Iraq after the U.S. withdrawal are looking on nervously.
     “The Afghanistan attacks come as the U.S. prepares to pull out all but nearly 10,000 troops. [Emphasis mine]
     “{A retired U.S. general} said the current problem in Kabul was avoidable.
     “ ‘We predicted that we were going to have major problems around Kabul and to the east of Kabul to the Pakistan border with the Haqqani network, {he} said, referencing the powerful Pakistan-based Taliban affiliate. ‘The president did not give us the full number of surge forces, and then over General Petraeus' objections, he pulled them out early.’ [Emphasis mine]
      - - -
     “So far this year, 36 aid workers have been killed and 95 wounded.
     “South of Kabul in the Helmand Province, it took the Afghan security forces three days to expel Taliban fighters who last Thursday overran Camp Bastion, the former British and American Marine base handed over to Afghan security forces four weeks ago.” (Ref. 3)

     President Obama has been badly micromanaging the war against Islamic terrorism ever since he took office. He has telegraphed our moves to the enemy; he has grossly misjudged the opponent; he has displayed a total lack of any understanding of the basic concepts of warfare; it also appears that he has placed himself above our military leaders in the decision-making process; he has consistently demonstrated a failure to define any practical strategy that could result in the defeat of the Islamic jihadist enemy. His actions in Afghanistan clearly illustrate all of the above.

     After announcing to the Taliban enemy there America’s intention to withdraw, President Obama had to reverse himself and announce that some 10,000 troops would remain, BUT, being the polite armchair general that he is, President Obama told the Taliban not to worry, these troops would only train the Afghan military and would not engage in combat with these jihadists. Then in early December 2014, President Obama had to make another change in his position, when outgoing “U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said . . . the United States will keep as many as 1,000 more troops in Afghanistan than planned for the first part of 2015. . . . Hagel said the original plan to cut U.S. troop levels to 9,800 by the end of this year had been abandoned, but not because of a recent surge in Taliban attacks.” (Ref. 4)

     You’ve got to be kidding! Why else are we sending more soldiers to Afghanistan except to combat the increasing number of Taliban attacks that resulted from our premature removal of American fighting forces? After all, Afghanistan is not a place where we send our troops for R&R!

     “Hagel said the U.S. will keep up to 10,800 troops for the first few months of next year and then restart the drawdown, which is scheduled to reach 5,500 troops by the end of 2015.” (Ref. 4)

     JUST GREAT! So, once again, we telegraph our intentions to the enemy. Hey, you Taliban! Plan your big offenses for 2016, after we Americans leave Afghanistan. This would have been equivalent to our telling Adolph Hitler in early 1944 that we we planning to land in Normandy in June of that year.

     According to Hagel, “President Barack Obama ‘has provided U.S. military commanders the flexibility to manage any temporary force shortfall that we might experience for a few months as we allow for coalition troops to arrive in theater,’ . . . ‘But the president's authorization will not change our troops' missions, or the long-term timeline for our drawdown,’ [Emphasis mine] he added.” (Ref. 4)

     The Taliban had brutally ruled Afghanistan since 1996 and had provided a training ground for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. They were driven from power in late 2001, just weeks after a U.S.-led invasion, prompted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was instituted by then President George W. Bush. But, by 2008, following the election of Barack Obama, the U.S. was conceding that the war in Afghanistan was stalemated.

     The war in Afghanistan has lasted far longer than originally anticipated and the final result remains in doubt as Obama officially ends the U.S. combat mission there at the end of 2014. The decision by President Obama to end our combat role in Afghanistan was made because of a campaign promise. The deteriorating situation on the ground there has not deterred him in adhering to his pledge in spite of the possibility (probability?) of Afghanistan once again reverting to a haven for al-Qaeda. President Obama appears to have forgotten or never bought into our primary objective in Afghanistan - to once-and-for-all eliminate the threat posed by al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

     “At the peak in 2010-2011 the U.S. had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. The Americans have fought alongside troops from a coalition of countries, including Britain, Canada, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Turkey and Poland.” (Ref. 4)

     The shift to micromanaging the war against Islamic jihadist was evident to the troops leading the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan – the Special Operations units, the Navy Seals, the Army Rangers and others. Following the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., these units were tasked with seeking out and eliminating these terrorists. They were told to do the job and then left to carry out this simple directive. But with a new administration in Washington, things changed. By 2011, as reported by one veteran Navy Seal, “everything in Afghanistan was getting harder. It seemed with every rotation we had new requirements or restrictions. It took pages of PowerPoint slides to get a mission approved. Lawyers and staff officers pored over the details on each page, making sure our plan was acceptable to the Afghan government.
      - - -
     “Policy makers were asking us to ignore all of the lessons we had learned, especially the lessons learned in blood, for political solutions. [Emphasis mine] For years, we had been sneaking into compounds, catching {jihadist} fighters by surprise.
     “Not anymore.
      - - -
     “It felt like we were fighting the war with one hand and filling out paperwork with the other. When we brought back detainees, there were an additional two or three hours of paperwork. The first question to the detainee at the base was always ‘Were you abused?’ An affirmative answer meant an investigation and more paperwork.
     “And the enemy had figured out the rules.
     “Their tactics evolved as fast as ours. On my earlier deployments, they stood and fought. On more recent deployments, they started hiding their weapons, knowing we couldn’t shoot them if they weren’t armed. The {jihadist} fighters knew the rules of engagement and figured they’d just work their way through the system and be back to their village in a few days.
     “It was frustrating. We knew what we were sacrificing at home; we were willing to give that up to do the job on our terms. As more rules were applied, it became harder to justify taking the risks to our lives. The job was becoming more about an exit strategy than doing the right job tactically. [Emphasis mine]” (Ref. 5; Pages 140-142)

     Unfortunately, the Obama administration was more concerned with protecting the administration’s perceived version of the civil rights of radical Islamic terrorists than it was with allowing the military to do their job and eliminate this inhumane enemy. The administration’s actions were endangering the lives of our soldiers and the lives of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, ultimately, has led to the loss of thousands of lives - of Americans, westerners and other mid-east civilians who have been viciously murdered, raped, enslaved and beheaded by these Islamic jihadists and their cohorts. Our leaders are guilty of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

     When President Obama finally realized the disaster that was occurring in Iraq and Syria with the emergence of ISIS as a rapidly growing threat to the region and to the U.S., and after his announced lack of strategy to counter the threat, he reluctantly moved to combat the threat by allowing the military to conduct limited air strikes against the forces of ISIS.

     “The president hasn’t yet given the green light for an attack on Islamic State militants in Syria, but the U.S. military campaign against the group there is being designed to allow President Barack Obama to exert a high degree of personal control – going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential signoff for strikes. [Emphasis mine] . . . Mr. Obama insisted anew that U.S. ground forces won’t engage in combat in Iraq or Syria, despite suggestions by top military commanders that conditions could one day require that U.S. advisers and other military units play a limited front-line role. . . .
     "While President Obama reversed himself – somewhat – in the light of the mushrooming threat from ISIS in Iraq and Syria, he also tied the hands of the warfighters by: 1) announcing that the U.S. would not ‘put boots on the ground’ and then trying to direct the apparently ineffective air campaign from the White House. As a consequence, ‘Top military leaders in the Pentagon and in the field are growing increasingly frustrated by the tight constraints the White House has placed on the plans to fight ISIS and train a new Syrian rebel army.’
     “ . . . the generals and Pentagon officials leading the air campaign and preparing to train Syrian rebels are working under strict White House orders to keep the war contained within policy limits. The National Security Council has given precise instructions on which rebels can be engaged, who can be trained, and what exactly those fighters will do when they return to Syria. Most of the rebels to be trained by the U.S. will never be sent to fight against ISIS.
     “Making matters worse . . . is the ISIS war’s decision-making process, run by National Security Advisor Susan Rice. It’s been manic and obsessed with the tiniest of details. Officials talk of sudden and frequent meetings of the National Security Council and the so-called ‘Principals Committee’ of top defense, intelligence, and foreign policy officials . . . ; a barrage of questions from the NSC to the agencies that create mountains of paperwork for overworked staffers; and NSC insistence on deciding minor issues even at the operational level.
     “ ‘We are getting a lot of micromanagement from the White House. Basic decisions that should take hours are taking days sometimes,’ {said} one senior defense official . . .
    - - -
     “Regardless of who’s in charge, the policy is failing. . . . the airstrikes are not only having little impact on ISIS militarily, they’re not slowing down {ISIS} recruitment either.
     “More than 1,000 foreign fighters are streaming into Syria each month, a rate that has so far been unchanged by airstrikes against the Islamic State and efforts by other countries to stem the flow of departures, according to U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials.
    - - -
     “The entire strategy against ISIS should be revisited, as well as the leadership structure that is tasked with implementing it. We have political operatives in charge of a military/diplomatic operation while the top officials in both arenas are apparently being frozen out. That’s a recipe for disaster, and it’s no surprise at all that disaster is all that the Obama administration has managed to produce in the region.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 6)

     “In August 1961, while the Soviets erected the Berlin Wall to plunge the Cold War into the deep freeze, President John F. Kennedy ordered the Joint Chiefs of Staff to devise a nuclear-first strike plan. The Strategic Air Command responded with a plan involving 55 B-52’s hitting 80 Soviet bomber and missile bases and eliminating an estimated 90 percent of the Soviet’s nuclear capability. Since Russian bomber and rocket bases were located in isolated areas, civilian and military casualties, assessed at around one million, were thought low enough when compared to the more than 20 million deaths Russia suffered in World War II. Kennedy considered, but rejected the option. Nevertheless, the episode reflected bold thinking at both the grand and operational levels of strategy.
     “Simply put, strategy is a plan to achieve an objective. Speaking at the White House recently, President Obama stated that his administration had no plan to deal with the jihadist threat in Syria. [Emphasis mine] U.S. force against ISIS in Iraq has, so far, involved disparate precision air strikes meant to curb the ISIS jihadists advancing on Iraqi and Kurdish forces. This is clearly combat at the tactical rather than the strategic level of war.
     “There are two separate, but related, levels of strategy. The highest, grand strategy lies within the president’s purview. The White House defines national policy, prompting a grand strategy that the military fulfills with an operational strategy devised to correspond to national strategic objectives. In short, President Obama must clearly state the policy objective so the Pentagon can respond with an effective strategy to employ its forces at the operational level of war.
     “Grand strategy reflects national policy objectives and must correctly identify the nature of the threat. . . . A viable grand strategy clearly identifies the enemy and specifies a definitive end state. . . .
      - - -
     “National will is essential. After 13 years of war do the American people have the will to properly take on ISIS? President Obama {should have gone} beyond the far left political base’s disdain for using military force and made the case to the American people that it is in the national security interest of the United States to move decisively against this threat. . . .
     “Operational strategy is the purview of military leaders who know what their forces can do. It is the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s job to inform the president concerning what resources are available and how a major recommitment to the Middle East will affect readiness in the larger scheme of international security. . . .” (Ref. 7)

     The president’s limiting the military to the bombing of ISIS trucks, tanks and artillery pieces is both an exercise in futility and a clear demonstration of a lack of understanding of the crisis posed by the growing power of Islamic jihadists. It is also another unfortunate example of an amateur armchair general in the White House trying to micromanage a war instead of turning over that responsibility to the professional generals who are the ones qualified to perform that task.

     President Obama must stop telegraphing to our enemies what we will or will not do. As commander-in-chief, he should have defined the mission, given it to the military, and then let them do their jobs without becoming an armchair general and micromanaging the operation.

     As Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said, “ ‘I’m worried {President Obama} is going to nickel and dime the military…be an armchair general like LBJ in Vietnam’ . . .
     “ He {also} said he hoped that Obama won’t ‘pull punches.’
     “ ‘Give the military the mission, stand out of the way, and let them do their jobs,’ ” (Ref. 8)

      President Obama’s “two previous secretaries of Defense have raked him over the coals for his indecisiveness in dealing with critical foreign policies and prosecuting the war against terrorism.
      “Former secretary Robert Gates, in his stinging memoir, ‘Duty’, confessed he had deep misgivings about Obama's failed leadership in the war in Afghanistan. Obama, Gates wrote, ‘doesn't believe his own strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him it's all about getting out.’
      “Even as Obama was sending in additional forces in 2010, Gates said the president made it clear that he was ‘skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail.’
      “Former Defense secretary Leon Panetta delivers an even more devastating critique of the president in his new book, ‘Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace’. . . .
      “In an interview . . ., Panetta said Obama's failure to retain a military presence in Iraq ‘created a vacuum in terms of the ability of that country to better protect itself, and it's out of that vacuum that ISIS [terrorists] began to breed.’
      “Even his former secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has made it clear that she and Panetta strongly disagreed with Obama's stubborn opposition to arming the Syrian rebels in their fight to topple a brutal dictator.” (Ref. 9)

      President Obama said that he intended to shrink the al-Qaeda-spawned Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) into a “manageable problem.” Strange words from our Commander-In-Chief to describe the all-out brutal war being fought against these radical Islamic jihadists!

      At the same time that the war on Islamic terror was escalating, “Mr. Obama’s administration quietly approved the transfer of 55 jihadist prisoners out of the Guantanamo Bay detention center {in spite of the fact that} most of the detainees had previously been categorized as ‘high risk’ because they were deemed ‘likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies’ if released. . . .” (Ref. 9)

      Does this action seem reasonable in light of the growing terror threat from ISIS, al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadist organizations? Remember that the release of these "high risk" prisoners occurred just two short years after al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists attacked the American government compound in Libya, killing our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Members of the U.S. security team in Benghazi said they were prevented from trying to save Ambassador Stevens and President Obama declined to take any meaningful responsive action. Involved in this attack were operatives of Ansar al-Sharia, an al-Qaeda affiliate. Ansar al-Sharia is led by Sufian Ben Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who, not surprisingly, went right back to the jihad. So, in the spirit of peace, love, and understanding, we continue to release more potential murderers of Americans and other innocent people.

      “News of Obama’s approval of the mass transfer of Gitmo detainees came less than two weeks after the Benghazi massacre. Let that sink in: The Obama administration knew that a former Gitmo detainee was complicit in the most humiliating defeat suffered by the United States since the 9/11 attacks that took the nation to war; yet, the president approved the transfer of dozens more Gitmo terrorists. Just as, only a few months ago, he approved the transfer of five top Taliban commanders even as the Taliban was (and is) continuing to conduct terrorist operations against American troops in Afghanistan.
      “Shocking, yes, but how surprising from Barack Obama? Mind you, this is the president who, though AWOL . . . while terrorists were killing and wounding American personnel in Benghazi . . . the very next day . . . declare{d} victory: ‘A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.’
        - - -
      “. . . Benghazi massacre would never have happened had Obama not switched sides in Libya . . . and partner{ed} with Eastern Libyan jihadists. The president’s strategy ensured that enemies of the United States would acquire much of Qaddafi’s arsenal, empowering jihadist cells throughout North Africa and the Middle East, growing al-Qaeda and what would become the Islamic State. And as we have seen in just the last few weeks, Obama’s “lead the jihad from behind” strategy has resulted in the near complete disintegration of Libya, with Ansar al-Sharia and its allies now controlling much of Tripoli.” (Ref. 10)

      Under President Obama and after 13 costly years of war, terrorism is spreading worldwide; our enemies have sustained our blows and still adapted, and grown. The armchair general in the White House has failed to meet the growing threat.

      Recent studies support the conclusion that global terror trends are heading in an ever more dangerous direction. “In early June, the Rand Corporation released a study that detailed the growing threat. It reports that in 2007, there were 28 Salafi-jihadist groups like al Qaeda. As of last year, there were 49. In 2007, these groups conducted 100 attacks. Last year, they conducted 950. The study estimates that there were between 18,000 and 42,000 such terrorists active seven years ago. The low-end estimate for last year, at 44,000, is higher than the top estimate for 2007, and the new high-end estimate is 105,000. . . . ‘Since 2010, there has been a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups, a doubling of jihadist fighters and a tripling of attacks by Al Qaeda affiliates. The most significant threat to the United States, the report concludes, comes from terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.’
      “. . . The war in Iraq was not over or won when {our president} said it was. Nor is the war on terror won or the threat it poses resolved simply by no longer using the term or suggesting our goal was merely to inflict damage on the tiny fraction of terrorists who were associated with the 9/11 attacks. The reality is that we are still fighting the last war on terror even as a new set of risks loom and are made worse by our minimizing their implications for political purposes.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 11) Unfortunately our Comander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, has “led from behind” during his two terms in office.

      “The scariest of anxieties for any country involves an incompetent military commander in crisis. That’s what we’ve come to in America.” (Ref. 11) Our Washington armchair general, Barack Obama, the commander in chief of the most powerful army on Earth, has had no military training. Yet he apparently refuses the advice of his more competent field commanders and advisors.

      Make no mistake - we are at war. This is a war for survival. Our enemy, is a worldwide menace intent on killing all “infidels.”

      “After telling the world, ‘I don’t have a strategy’ against the enemy, this president later broadcasted to those enemies what his war plans will be. Stupidly, he told Islamic State terrorists that they will not face American ‘boots on the ground’ — so now they can plan accordingly. No competent commander blabs to his enemy what he will not do. Obama has even stated publicly the timelines he plans to follow.” (Ref. 12) He has done this before – in Afghanistan, in Syria, and in Libya. The results to date have been disastrous.

      Confronting Islamic State effectively requires a well thought out and consistent strategy that keeps the enemy in the dark. What America, and the world, has got is a master of hesitancy and ambivalence — major reasons for jihadist and fanatic Islamic successes. Obama “dithered in the early days of the revolution in Syria, allowing the jihadists to gain the initiative. Obama’s inaction allowed the jihadists to capture major regions of Syria and Iraq. His ‘red line’ in the sand comment about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime is the stuff of parody.” (Ref. 12)

     Our commander-in-chief is a quitter. He quit Libya, ordered a full withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, and is leaving Afghanistan now. ISIS and the other jihadi fanatics know he is a quitter and count on it. In many cases, the jihadist battle plan is simply to wait him out.

     Only an incompetent armchair general does these things – one who lacks experience, exercises poor judgment, won’t listen to more qualified experts and appears not to comprehend the nature and extent of the threat facing him, this nation and the non-jihadist people of the world.

     A real general – not an armchair general – must have a strategy, must be prepared for the unexpected, and, most importantly, must lead. Overseeing a retreat from global responsibilities as the Obama administration has tried to do, i.e., leading from behind, has ignored the unfortunate consequences of this ill-conceived policy. What is now resulting is more mayhem, more destruction, and more killing. Weakness and retreat are not a viable strategy at a period of time like this that marks the rise of radical Islamic jihad.

     Paraphrasing a famous rejoinder to a one-time vice-presidential candidate, ”Mr. President, you’re no Dwight Eisenhower!”


  1. Al-Qaeda returns:The new face of terror, Earl H. Tilford, The Economist, 28 September 2013.
  2. AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan, Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report, AOL, 22 November 2014.
  3. Taliban flexing muscle with high-profile attacks ahead of US drawdown, Justin Fishel, Jennifer Griffin, FoxNews/.com/politics, 02 December 2014.
  4. More US troops than planned to stay Afghanistan, Robert Burns (AP), AOL, 6 December 2014.
  5. No Easy Day, Mark Owen, New American Library Trade Paperback ISBN 978-0-451-46874-1, May 2014.
  6. Pentagon lashes out at ISIS war “micromanagement” at WH, Ed Morrissey,, 31 October 2014.
  7. Strategy 101: A primer for President Obama, Earl H. Tilford,, 4 September 2014.
  8. Paul Ryan to President Obama: Get out of the way and let the military do it’s job, Douglas Barclay, Rare,
    1 October 2014.
  9. Obama Administration is a Swamp of Ineptitude, Mismanagement and Sordid Scandals, Donald Lambro,, 10 October 2014.
  10. A Mismanage-able Problem, Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review Online, 10 September 2014.
  11. We are Losing the War on Terror, David Rothkopf, Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, 10 June 2014.
  12. Commander in chief Obama has no war-fighting creds, won’t listen to those who do, John R. Smith,, 22 September 2014.


  26 December 2014 {Article 208; Govt_56}    
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