THE THREAT TO AMERICAN LIVES AND INTERESTS FROM OBAMA'S INDECISIVENESS
Ask any military leader how best to defeat an enemy like ISIS and he will recite the need for use of overwhelming force and the element of surprise. President Obama’s strategy on dealing with ISIS in Iraq and Syria is precisely the opposite. He proceeds at a snail’s pace and telegraphs to the enemy what he will do and what he will not (he will use air power but will not put American boots on the ground). As in so many instances throughout his presidency, Obama is weak, indecisive, and inconsistent.
It is in the direct interest of the United States to eliminate (not degrade) any foreign citizen, group, or government that sacrifices American lives. Failure to use maximum force and speed in accomplishing that mission reveals two things to a dedicated enemy: weakness and opportunity.
By proceeding with less than overwhelming force and by informing the world of what he will do and what he will not, Obama has placed Americans in general and the American military in particular at far greater risk around the world. By inaction and by halting action, Obama has invited our opponentsto engage in continuous acts of terror against Americans and to undertake countermeasures that make eradicating those opponents much more difficult.
Whenever terrorists kill even one American anywhere in the world, they are by that act alone at war with our nation. In each such instance, we must apply overwhelming force not to degrade but to annihilate the opponent. We must be willing to do whatever it takes with alacrity, surprise, and overwhelming force. No one on the face of the earth should doubt America’s resolve or ability to eliminate those who threaten our existence.
We possess the means to crush ISIS and to ferret out and eliminate every last one of its members and affiliates, but our military requires maximum flexibility to attain that objective. In other words, commanders in the field need the assurance that the Congress of the United States and the President are fully and consistently backing them and will give them whatever arms, materials, and manpower they require to attain the objective of complete annihilation. Consistent with the Constitution, Congress should formally declare war against ISIS. Our enemy must understand our resolve, be kept off guard, and be left without any reliable means to predict what we will do next. Rather than depend on ISIS advances to dictate our responses, we must dominate the battle, dictate the course of the struggle, and leave ISIS with no ability to discern precisely what kind of force is going to be applied, to predict whether any location provides a safe haven, and be afforded no escape from obliteration.
The President has chosen to refrain from applying maximum force against ISIS in favor of inviting allies to assume a greater role in the struggle. That is a serious mistake. It is in the vital national interest of the United States to eliminate all threats to American people at home and abroad. We cannot shirk that responsibility or assign it to others. It is our irreducible duty, and it is the essential task that every true Commander-in-Chief must perform.
Consequently, rather than “lead from behind,” which is not to lead at all, the President must unilaterally lead American forces to destroy ISIS completely along with those who give ISIS aid and support wherever they exist in the world.
There can be no limit to the commitment or the degree of force applied to achieve that objective. No U.S. soldier or commander in the field, and no American now held by ISIS, should be left to doubt for a single minute the complete commitment of the United States to use everything in its power to eradicate ISIS and all who support and aid its efforts. America’s allies need only understand the unambiguous intent of the United States, and they may be invited to complement the American mission but not define it or detract from it. Sadly for America, Obama is not up to that task.
Over his two terms in office, hehas dithered away opportunity after opportunity to permit our military to achieve its objectives, and he has increased the cost and difficulty of doing so. Only force of public opinion has brought him to the present stage where he has at long last committed to using airpower to degrade ISIS, but that is not enough. Our commanders in the theater need the full commitment of the President to back them with whatever force they need to win this war.
Rather than have his Chief of Staff admit in response to questions from the media that we are in a state of war with ISIS, Obama should have appeared before Congress months ago and sought a formal declaration of war, as the Constitution designates. With a national commitment confirmed with a declaration of war, a true Commander-in-Chief would then unleash our military, with all the support it requires, to rid the world of the ISIS menace.
May the Lord bless and Keep you and may He Save the United States of America.
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