Is President Obama setting the United States up for failure in the campaign against ISIS?
Fox News contributor Brit Hume seems to think so, saying the President’s ISIS strategy – of which he did not have one mere weeks ago – is designed “to fail slowly.”
Hume’s theory suggests that the sole reason Obama has taken on the fight is due to public outrage over the actions of ISIS. The public outcry over brutal beheadings of American journalists has forced the President’s hand. In reality though, Obama has set forth on a mission he “doubts should even be undertaken.” He added that the President would have preferred to “take no action against ISIS beyond some air strikes.”
Amy Miller has a fantastic piece up at Legal Insurrection which explains why Obama would allow America to fail during this campaign against ISIS.
We know that Obama doesn’t want to be in the Middle East because he ignored the best advice of his military advisers when he pulled our troops out of Iraq. He decided unilaterally that leaving a “footprint” in the region was an unacceptable option. He chose to support the Assad regime in Syria, which escalated tension in the region.
More importantly, he knows that right now the only thing saving his foreign policy approval rating from bottoming out is the current show of force against ISIS, and that he needs to drag this out until something happens that will allow Democrats to reclaim the “strength through diplomacy” narrative that recent events have torn to pieces. All he has to do to make this happen is the bare minimum; and even if the situation devolves, he can still claim that Bush (BUSH! BUSH!) left him with the impossible task of gluing the Middle East back together.
For this president, achieving the bare minimum at the expense of our international presence may be the only strategy he’s capable of.
So is the strategy designed for defeat?
A former head of the Marine Corps recently gave Obama’s strategy “a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding.”
Perhaps as Hume and Miller contend, defeat is what the President is looking for in the first place.
Transcript of Hume’s segment via Truth Revolt:
There is an intellectually respectable case to be made that the United States should do nothing, or next to nothing, to destroy the terrorist force known as ISIS. It goes something like this:
Despite its beheadings and its threats, ISIS should be seen as a regional force more intent on capturing territory in the Mideast than trying to attack a superpower an ocean away. Any strategy to defeat ISIS that relies largely on air power can certainly make things harder for ISIS fighters, but it takes ground troops to dislodge occupiers from conquered territory. U.S. ground troops might be the only force capable of truly defeating ISIS, but their introduction, especially in Syria, would be a throw of the dice against utterly unpredictable odds. The Mideast -– this argument goes — is in the midst of an historic upheaval that should be permitted to run its course, not because things will turn out well, but because it’s unlikely American military force can make them turn out better.
I don’t buy this whole argument, but I sense that President Obama does, and would have preferred to take no action against ISIS beyond some air strikes in Iraq. But he felt his hand was forced by the public’s outrage and alarm over those videotaped beheadings. So he came up with a strategy for ISIS’s eventual defeat, which is designed not to succeed so much as to fail slowly in a mission he doubts should even be undertaken.
Read more at The Political Insider