Streetwise Professor

November 15, 2015

Reaping What Obama & Europe Have Sown: The Price of Military Idiocy and Political Fantasies

Filed under: History,Military,Politics — The Professor @ 2:52 pm

The Paris attack is obviously dominating the news. It has been claimed by ISIS and the French have formally blamed ISIS.

It of course cannot be determined definitively whether the desultory US campaign against ISIS contributed to the onslaught (to which must be added the downing of the Russian jet, in all likelihood), but it cannot have helped. The first principle of war is The Offensive. Maintain the initiative. Dictate to your enemy, not the other way around.

But for some reason that altogether escapes me, this administration and the Pentagon think it is a virtue to forego the initiative, and implement a “slow burn” strategy. Slowness–a cardinal military sin, according to Napoleon (“The reason I beat the Austrians is, they did not known the value of five minutes”), is somehow part of the Obama plan:

Administration officials described the battlefield additions as incremental boosts to a strategy that remains focused on slowly degrading the Islamic State in its heartland and continuing the slow process of building up local forces that can ultimately defeat the group.

Slowly twice in one paragraph. Incremental. ISIS has seized the initiative. The consequences are predictable.

That is a military abomination.

But let the boss speak for himself. Mere hours before the Paris attack, Obama said that the campaign is working, and that ISIS is contained:

President Barack Obama said that the U.S. strategy against ISIS has “contained them,” but not yet succeeded in its effort to “decapitate” ISIS leadership.

This is his idiocy in a nutshell. Containment has obviously not worked. They have broken out from their sanctuaries in Iraq and Syria to Egypt and Libya and to the heart of Europe.

Further, note the focus on “decapitation.” This is his measure of success.

Decapitation of the ISIS leadership is not a sufficient condition for its defeat. It is also unlikely to be a necessary one. Leaders can be replaced. Decapitation can be part of an operational plan if  an attack takes advantage of the disruption of leadership. But just killing one guy, then killing his replacement, then killing his replacement, accomplishes squat.

Truth be told, our options were highly limited once ISIS rolled into cities. During May-June 2014, they were vulnerable, but Obama, dismissing them as the JV with no extra-regional ambitions, stayed our air power.

Now, since a major ground commitment is not a realistic or desirable option, only an intensified air campaign that will result in substantially more civilian casualties, combined with Kurdish forces, is the only real option to expedite the process of the war. And even that will be unlikely to wrest the initiative away from ISIS.

The West is reaping what it–and most importantly, Obama–have sown.

The Europeans are also confronted with a consequence that many warned against: the possibility that a few terrorist fish would swim in with the sea of refugees. Initial reports imply those fears were realized. But many Europeans are so invested in the refugee narrative that they are unwilling to admit that opening the borders was an insane idea. They cling to the fantasy that humanitarian good motives produce desirable results.

And so they too are reaping what they have sown.



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  1. Wasn’t the refugee angle disproven (fake passports/the passport belonged to one of the victims?)

    Comment by Larry — November 15, 2015 @ 4:24 pm

  2. @Larry-Please. Whether or not the passport was forged or not is largely irrelevant. What really matters is whether it was used to enter Europe, thereby allowing a terrorist (or terrorists) to pose as a “refugee”. The Greeks and the Serbians say that it was.

    Forgery matters only insofar as it shows how porous the European borders are. You can get in with a bad fake passport. Oh joy.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 15, 2015 @ 5:12 pm

  3. @Larry. The Egyptian passport was found to be from a victim. The Syrian one was used to pass through Leo’s and used for registration in Syria.

    Comment by Andrew — November 15, 2015 @ 10:13 pm

  4. Yes,they are reaping what they have sown and so will we all.

    Comment by Podargus — November 16, 2015 @ 1:58 am

  5. Finally, there has been more public info on Bozo’s rules of engagement in Raqqa (and presumably
    elsewhere). They are so moronic they defy logic. And speaking of the toady Ben Rhodes, what’s wrong
    with our military decision-makers who put up with this stupidity. This nonsense guaranties ISIL’s
    success. FT (a month ago?) claimed that oil peddler trucks were lined up for 6 km at al-Omar to tank
    up on oil, funding ISIL, apparently without being disturbed by “coalition” aircraft. The question
    here is, “who is the real enemy??”

    Comment by eric — November 16, 2015 @ 8:27 pm

  6. it is beyond my capacity to comprehend to what depths have fallen the “leaders of the West”. They are loathsome and despicable. Putin has gone from the Butcher of Ukraine to the Savior of Syria in a few short months. Even darker times must lie ahead.

    Comment by pahoben — November 17, 2015 @ 2:01 pm

  7. Putin brushed off the dust from the Nord Ost speech and will again order that Americans die where they lay.

    Comment by pahoben — November 17, 2015 @ 3:32 pm

  8. Initiative? What initiative? What strategy? Obamatollah has been sitting with his thumbs up his butt for quite a long time now, fighting a war on climate change, and proclaiming, in his narcissistic, delusional fashion, that the only true test of leadership is the war on climate change! In his 60 Minutes interview, his head snapped back when the interviewer dared to suggest otherwise.

    It should be apparent to everyone by now, that Obamatollah hates the US –

    “A communists, a muslim, and an idiot walk into a bar. The bartender says — ‘what’ll it be, Mr. President?'”

    Obamatollah’s motto is – do nothing, except blow hot air.

    @ pahoben-

    I was wondering the same thing myself. The attack in Paris was an “attack on all of Europe.” But when the Butcher of Ukraine attacked Ukraine, with many, many more resultant deaths, into the thousands, France, Germany and the US said – “just sit there and take it, Ukraine, and make sure that you don’t piss off Putler Khuylo.”

    Putler Khuylo is bombing indiscriminately – it’s just a military exercise for him and his Kremlinoids, testing and showing off their bombers and cruise missiles.

    But Obamatollah nevertheless huddled with Putler Khuylo.

    Comment by elmer — November 20, 2015 @ 9:22 am

  9. @elmer
    Someone told me the other day that this is all scripted by the political elite morons to bring Putin back into the media fold. Nothing more than a rehabilitation for the media to disseminate.

    Comment by pahoben — November 22, 2015 @ 1:22 pm

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