Obama Foreign Policy

Obama can’t wiggle out of his ISIS as the jayvee analogy

Featured image Unless ISIS somehow turns out to be a flash-in-the-pan terrorist outfit, there’s a good chance that the signature statement of Barack Obama’s presidency will be his characterization of ISIS as “the jayvee.” To avoid this stain, Obama’s new press secretary, Josh Earnest, has been assigned to explain the statement away. Earnest argued that when Obama referred to local terrorists groups as “the jayvee,” he wasn’t singling out ISIS. Here is »

No longer even “leading from behind,” Obama is out of the loop in Libya

Featured image Egypt and the United Arab Emirates carried out airstrikes in Tripoli this weekend against the Islamist militants who were in the process of taking control of that city and its airport. The airstrikes appear to have failed to prevent that takeover. The government of Libya is, in the words of its ambassador to Egypt, “unable to protect its institutions, its airports, and natural resources, especially the oil fields.” Moreover, the »

Why Obama slept

Featured image Add Michael Morrell to the growing list of Obama administration officials and former officials who consider ISIS a clear and immediate threat to the United States. Morrell, who served two shifts as Obama’s acting CIA director, said on Face the Nation that ISIS’s rise presents “the most complex terrorism problem that I have ever seen.” What should the U.S. do in response? First, says Morrell, the United States must help »

The Syria Coalition’s frustration with Obama boils over

Featured image The Syria Coalition — the non-jihadist Syrian rebels whose requests for help President Obama has largely blown off for years — has issued a statement ascribing “much of the responsibility” for James Foley’s execution to the United States for “not react[ing] to the Assad regime’s repeated crossing of the red lines it had drawn and warned against crossing.” You can read the reasoning here. How fair is the Syria Coalition’s »

Sound Diagnosis, Pathetic Prescription

Featured image Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel offered a surprisingly realistic and cogent evaluation of the threat posed by ISIL. This clip is only a minute and a half long, but it sums up the danger well: Hagel says, correctly, that ISIL “is beyond anything we’ve seen,” creates a “whole new dynamic,” is “as sophisticated and well-funded as any organization we’ve seen,” an “imminent threat to every interest we have,” »

A word from the Daily News

Featured image Joining the British tabloids, the New York Daily News delivers a rousing and heartfelt jeer to President Obama on its cover today (below). And it ties it to an accompanying editorial: “Obama’s duty to act.” We are far, far into “more mush from the wimp” territory, and we have two-and-a-half years to go. Via Twitchy. »

Bret Stephens: The meltdown

Featured image Commentary has posted the lead essay from its September issue online. It’s “The meltdown,” by the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens. It’s a tour of the horizon created by Obama’s foreign policy: As I write, the foreign policy of the United States is in a state of unprecedented disarray. In some cases, failed policy has given way to an absence of policy. So it is in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, »

Inside the Islamic State

Featured image In a recent column Jonah Goldberg mentioned VICE TV’s reports from Islamic State-controlled parts of Syria. Jonah encouraged readers to view the reports and commented that “you will quickly see how the word ‘criminal’ is morally, logically and strategically inadequate. They indoctrinate children to become jihadists and suicide bombers. They vow to fly their black flag over the White House.” VICE News has posted the full video of of its »

Will ISIS be defeated in Iraq and will it attack the U.S.?

Featured image Yesterday, I attended a conference at the Heritage Foundation. The topic was Iraq and Obama’s approach to dealing with the current crisis. The panel consisted of Steven Hadley (formerly, President Bush’s National Security Adviser), Mary Habeck (of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies), and Steven Bucci (of Heritage and a retired Special Forces Colonel). The panel quickly agreed on two things. First, President Obama will not commit a »

The luck of Hamas

Featured image David Horovitz is a middle-of-the-road editor running a middle-of-the-road Israeli news site, so I am not only struck by the despairing tone of his latest column, I am completely in sympathy with it. “After the abandonment of Israel by the UK, with its promise to limit arms sales to Israel if Hamas restarts its attacks on our civilians,” Horovitz writes, “we now learn that the US is already restricting arms »

The limits of air strikes in Iraq

Featured image Robert Scales, a retired Army major general and former commandant of the U.S. Army War College, argues that an air campaign against ISIS is destined to fail. At first, it will probably set ISIS back, but before long the fighters will adapt. They will make targets more difficult to locate from the air and hide them (and themselves) in populated areas. Scales concludes: As the enemy grows more skilled, we »

Hagel sends 130 advisers to deal with “the most brutal, barbaric forces we’ve ever seen”

Featured image In his address to Marines in San Diego, Chuck Hagel described the threat posed by ISIS this way: The Iraqi people, the government of Iraq, country of Iraq is now under threat from some of the most brutal, barbaric forces we’ve ever seen in the world today, and a force, [ISIS], and others that is an ideology that’s connected to an army and it’s a force and a dimension that »

“The world is exploding” but Chuck Hagel is on the case

Featured image Chuck Hagel addressed a group of Marines in San Diego yesterday and afterwards tried to answer questions. One Marine asked: My question is that, given that the administration’s primary focus is on the Pacific theater, how has all of the issues popping up in the world today, Russia, Iraq, Africa, the rest of the theaters pretty much affected that current mission? And how do you foresee that affecting the mission »

Ms. Hillary retreats

Featured image David Axelrod fired back at Ms. Hillary on Twitter today — fired back in response to her interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg — operating as always on behalf of his lord and master. (Paul wrote about the interview here.) Just to clarify: "Don't do stupid stuff" means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision. — David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 12, 2014 Axelrod’s »

Obama brings his brand of “identity politics” to the Middle East

Featured image After months of ignoring the rise of ISIS in Iraq, and years of ignoring it in Syria, President Obama was finally moved to take limited action against the Islamist barbarians when they trapped the Yazidis on a mountain in Northern Iraq. I applaud the decision and feel pride in America for having saved (it appears) many members of this sect. But what was magic about the Yazidis? As Seth Mandel »

‘Twas a famous ending

Featured image Those of us of a certain age recall that Jimmy Carter began his term in office as president declaring that we had overcome our inordinate fear of Communism. As William Buckley probably pointed out at the time, Carter never did explain what the “ordinate” fear of Commmunism was or would have been. Rather, he was, as a certain critical biography of Carter points out, declaring an end to the Cold »

Hard-line Hillary: where is it coming from?

Featured image Jeffrey Goldberg reports on his remarkable interview with Hillary Clinton. The report and accompanying transcript make the former Secretary of State sound like a neo-conservative, at least in the loose sense in which the term is tossed about. First, Clinton takes President Obama to task for not intervening against ISIS in Syria. “The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of »