Monday, September 7, 2015

Challenges for the next administration

Let's review, when Mr. Obama to office with was viewed as a repudiation of the Bush policies regarding Iraq and Afghanistan.   Mr. Obama then pulled the troops out as he promised during his campaign speeches, blaming the Bush Administration for all of the havoc.  

Flash forward to today.  The Taliban has become even stronger in Afghanistan since the troops were pulled out and a previously unheard of group, ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh, is now running amok in both Syria and Iraq.  Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry pretend that this is not of their making and focus their efforts instead on brokering a deal with Iran.

Yet the failure of the Obama Administration's foreign policy goes even further.  Under President Clinton, the United States reached out to the former Warsaw Pact nations to bolster democratic governments.  Many of these countries, such as Hungary, hoped that successful participation in this program would lead to membership in the European Union and NATO.  The failure of Obama to shutdown ISIS has created thousands of refugees flooding into Europe.  Hungary now finds itself at odd with the rest of the European Union that "everyone is invited".  Hungary in response plans to seal off its border.  Just in case you think Hungary is being draconian, take a look at what Israel built along their border with Egypt;

Photo credit:  Breitbart

Instead of supporting the countries the US helped bring into the European Union, Obama and Kerry are trying to double-down on Iran.

Obama and Clinton (or as she refers to herself in her campaign, "Hillary") spent most of their time together painting the "Arab Spring" as a good thing but that Iran having a nuclear weapons was a bad thing.  After Hillary left office, Mr. Kerry was brought in to continue the chant of how dangerous a nuclear Iran is while ignoring increased aggression from Russia.

Now Leon Panetta, former Sec Def and former director of the CIA, has come out as the latest critic of the deal with Iran;

"In itself, the Iran deal would appear to reward Tehran for defying the world, make funds available for its extremist activities and generally make it stronger militarily and economically. Although the agreement provides for a temporary delay in Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability, it allows Tehran to retain its nuclear infrastructure and obtain sanctions relief. The risk is that Iran could become an even bigger threat to the region."--Breitbart

This is the problem for Mr. Obama that his supporters refuse to acknowledge; his plan doesn't stop Iran, it is at best a delaying action.  Further, his record in Afghanistan and Iraq shows Mr. Obama is not in it for the long haul.  If a nuclear Iran truly means the end of the world, Mr. Obama's plan really won't stop it.

While our attention is focused on Iran, Russia has been busy expanding their presence in the area (to be fair, the US has the most bases in the region of any foreign power).  The Russians already lease a naval facility in Tartus, Syria.  Russia now plans to build another military base in Syria, placing another 1,000 Russian troops near Latakia.  This means the if the next President decides to strike ISIS with something more than aircraft, US forces engaged in Syria could end-up facing Russian troops.

Russia is building up their military while the US continues to cut our troops.  This typical happens after a protracted war, and the war on terrorism has lasted longer than any other war in US history.  The challenge for the next administration will be to either deescalate tensions through diplomacy (something that Obama has not really done, he merely has appeased the threats) or figure out how to increase our military readiness.

No comments: