The collapse of the Obama Administration’s policy towards the Islamic world is in abundant evidence. The extent of the Administration’s mistakes is staggering, and the ramifications are global.
Whatever opinion one may have had of the war that deposed Saddam Hussein, President Obama’s decision to prematurely withdraw American troops from Iraq, a nation that was struggling but nevertheless slowly moving towards stability and democracy has proven disastrous. The vacuum that was created allowed ISIS to rise to great power.
In turn, the White House’s subsequent failure to bring sufficient strength to bear against ISIS, either through American airpower or through providing the heavy weaponry needed by the Kurds to do the job, allowed Iran and Russia to extend their influence throughout the Middle East. For the first time, Russian forces, in alliance with the terrible regimes in Iran, the key supporter of global terrorism, and Syria, a nation whose government commits massive atrocities against its own people and has caused the worst refugee crisis since World War II, hold the balance of power in the region.
The belief that Russian, Iranian, and Syrian forces will at least counter ISIS may be mistaken as well. Iran’s key goal, which it has followed for decades, is to extend its influence. It is far more interested in establishing a dominating military influence in nearby nations than in combatting ISIS. Similarly, the major priority Syrian forces follow are is eliminating rebel forces opposing their regime.
And then, of course, there is Russia, which already has a naval base in the Syrian city of Tartus, and seeks to greatly expand its influence in one of the planet’s most strategic areas. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, (commander of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander, Europe) noted that Russia’s presence is being watched “with concern.”
This turn of events has been made even more complete by Obama’s alienation of Israel, his inexplicable support for the rise of Egyptian elements that are tied to the Moslem Brotherhood, (a turn of events later undone from within that nation) and his bizarre military adventure in Libya which replaced an anti-terrorist regime with a weak government that has allowed that country to become a growing stronghold for al Qaeda.
The refusal to take any action in response to Syria’s crossing “the red line” in its possession of unlawful weaponry, the lack of any military action in response to the murder of Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi, and the terms of the Iran nuclear deal which allows that nation to eventually possess atomic arms has signaled the region that the United States is no longer a force to be feared.
In another part of the Islamic world, a similar scenario is taking place. The President, similar to his Iraq mistake, announced a departure date for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. As a consequence, the Taliban, which provided support for the 9/11/01 attack that devastated New York and the Pentagon, is returning to power. The most recent example: on September 28, Taliban forces overran the provincial capital of Kunduz in the northern part of the nation. This is the first loss of a provincial capital since American forces entered Afghanistan in 2001. Kunduz is a strategic transportation center for the entire region. (Airstrikes have been made in an attempt to retake the city.)
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement
“News reports that the Taliban has retaken Kunduz are discouraging, but not unexpected. President Obama’s failure to fully resource his strategy for Afghanistan forces our troops and their leaders to focus on meeting next year’s withdrawal deadline, rather than America’s security needs. The fall of Kunduz to the Taliban is not unlike the fall of Iraqi provinces to ISIL—it is a reaffirmation that precipitous withdrawal leaves key allies and territory vulnerable to the very terrorists we’ve fought so long to defeat.”
In an interview with The Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, noted that President Obama’s Middle East foreign policy is “failing on every single measurement…Russian aggression in the region may eventually force the Obama administration to take military action.”
Despite the extensively negative results of his policies, there is little indication that the President is ready for a change in course.