“NO OBVIOUS WILL TO WIN”
by Capt. Joseph R. John (Ret.), Co-Founder, CombatVeteransForCongress.org
(Sep. 16, 2014) — 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 one.
The allies have watched over the last six years as Obama walked away from the victory in Iraq and refused to leave a residual US military force there, overriding his own generals. Obama walked away from air strikes in Syria less than two years ago when Assad crossed the red line; he took out a friendly leader in Libya, then walked away from a destabilized nation that resulted in Al Qaeda taking it over. He walked away from the friendly Egyptian Army Junta after it removed the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsi, who was killing Christians, and Obama has sent a signal that he will walk away from Afghanistan leaving it to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Middle East and NATO allies are not interested in joining a consortium with a quitter who can’t be trusted to “win” anything.
US 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, and 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 Syrian 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 Qaeda, 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 his plan to failure.
Obama keeps telling ISIL that there will be no boots on the ground. What other occupant of the Oval Office 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 deficit, leading the nation to the brink of bankruptcy.
For the last six years, the Obama administration used drones to kill Al Qaeda leaders who were immediately replaced by the next Al Qaeda 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 Qaeda 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 information that led to the location of bin Laden’s messenger. That messenger ultimately led US forces to the location of Osama bin Laden’s lair in Pakistan, where SEAL Team SIX took him out.
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 Adviser 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 and 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 Adviser for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and supports the Combat Veterans For Congress.
Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62
Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” -Isaiah 6:8