Y’all ever heard about that device called the “BS Meter?” My first introduction to the infamous device was as a young lieutenant — you knew that was coming. I had to learn the VERY hard way that when something gets screwed up, it’s best to just tell the CO (Commanding Officer), something got screwed up…and here’s what you plan to do to correct it. What I learned in that one encounter is that when you try and chatter your way out of a bad situation, it just gets worse. Remember, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging! Well, I want to share with you a story that certainly sent my BS Meter into the redline level…and I knew this was eventually coming.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, “It is becoming increasingly clear that the Islamic State is on the ropes in Iraq and Syria, and its defeat is just a matter of time. What is less clear is whose strategy produced the victory.
This week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the group’s “fraudulent caliphate in Iraq and Syria is on the brink of being completely extinguished,” and credited “an aggressive new strategy led by the president.”
On Thursday, U.S. and Iraqi officials announced that troops had seized control of Hawija in Iraq, the last major town held by the terror group in that country. The president himself declared Thursday that more progress in the campaign to defeat Islamic State had been made in the last eight months than in “many, many previous years, all combined.”
But former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a lengthy essay published by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, argued the Trump administration is crowing about the results of what is essentially Obama’s strategy, in which the U.S. would work “by, with, and through,” local partners forces, providing air support and intelligence, but not doing the heavy lifting of front line combat.
“It was not possible to complete the job on President Obama’s watch, but I was confident as I departed the Pentagon that I was handing to my successor a military campaign plan capable of dealing ISIS a lasting defeat,” Carter wrote. “And despite a presidential promise of a ‘secret plan,’ the coalition campaign under the Trump administration is largely on the same track we laid out for it over Christmas of 2015.”
Yep, I think y’all can see why my BS Meter went into the high red — as well, this is YGTBSM stupid. Here is the easiest way to understand that the Obama administration has nothing to do with the reduction of the territorial expansion of ISIS…the liberal progressive media is not talking about it.
If things were going horribly against ISIS, the media would be all over this, blaming the Trump administration with a failed policy. And there’s no way in Hades that Ash Carter can make the absurd claim that Obama’s strategy against ISIS is coming to fruition.
We shared here on countless occasions of the failure of Obama’s laissez faire policy towards the Islamic State, which he allowed to be reconstituted from the defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). What is true is that President Bush handed over to Barack Obama an Iraq that was on its way to being secured. Instead, Barack Obama decided his campaign promises were more important that the reality of the ground and the recommendations of his uniformed military leaders. Therefore, Obama created a vacuum in Iraq that was quickly filled…and he did nothing to stem the growth and advance of ISIS from their early beginnings in 2014. Yep, they were just a Jayvee team, as Obama infamously stated. What President Trump has done, which Obama refused to do, is let loose the restrictive rules of engagement (ROE). You remember, those ROE that had our combat fighter aircraft returning from flying sorties with the full complement of their bombs because they weren’t allowed to drop them. How often did we see ISIS daylight parades or movements in the open desert, and no engagement by our combat aircraft?
Former U.S. SecDef Ash Carter is utterly delusional and fails to remember that the main focus of the Obama administration when it came to our Defense Department was social engineering and egalitarianism. You know, focusing on individuals with a mental condition of gender dysphoria while our military capability, capacity, and readiness was diminished. But not only did Barack Obama allow for the creation and expansion of this vicious, savage, and barbaric group, ISIS, he also enabled the Iranians to gain a strategic foothold in Iraq. For Ash Carter to make this claim just goes to evidence that here in post-Obamaland they’re searching for relevance, as they realize how much of a foreign policy and national security failure the Obama administration was, and shall be remembered.
But, what is the way forward when it comes to matters dealing with the Islamic State? First of all, we cannot see this reduction of their territorial footprint as the end state, as a panacea and begin to celebrate. Indeed, we’re not dealing with just one Islamic jihadist group; this has been our folly since 9-11. We must begin to think strategically and see this as a war not just centered in Iraq or Afghanistan, but rather a global conflagration against the growing global Islamic jihad.
Ponder this: we just lost four of our U.S. Army Special Operators in the African country of Niger. They were there on a foreign internal defense and security assistance mission against Boko Haram and al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM)…yep, al-Qaeda.
Barack Obama ran out and celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden, but in a strategic perspective, what did that achieve? Just as defeating and reducing the territorial footprint of ISIS is an operational, certainly a tactical victory, it does not represent a strategic victory, since Boko Haram has pledged its allegiance to ISIS. This isn’t about fighting individual groups, but rather defeating an ideology.
Something else I consider to be a boneheaded mistake during the Obama administration was the ending of the service of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopter. If there is a needed asset to get into the tough areas and deny sanctuary to these Islamic jihadists, it was the Kiowa Warrior. We now have a gap in our combat aviation coverage which cannot be remedied by the venerable and powerful AH-64D Apache helicopter. We sincerely need that rotary wing light armed aircraft that can get into the tough-to-reach places and bring down hell on these jihadists. We must be able to recon and bring about precision fires on this enemy, meaning restrict their movements, pound them in their base of operations, and if they move…they die. This strategic mentality, along with demonizing the ideology of Islamic jihadism, was never a focal point of the Obama administration. What Ash Carter and Barack Obama left was a depleted and decimated force that must confront resurgent enemies whether it’s Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, or Islamic jihadists.
Now, if there’s one thing I do fault the Trump administration for not doing, it’s not issuing an Executive Order designating the Muslim Brotherhood as an Islamic terrorist organization. That is a strategic imperative if we are to defeat the global Islamic jihad right here within our borders. And I’m fairly certain I know the individual who refuses to recommend that action…and said individual also causes my BS Meter to alert…
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]