“If confirmed in this job, I pledge to you my most candid strategic advice. And I pledge also that you will receive equally candid military advice.” – Ash Carter, speaking to President Carter during his nomination as Secretary of Defense, Dec. 5, 2014
“It is not just my view, but the view of my closest military and civilian advisors that (sending more U.S. ground troops) would be a mistake, said a testy President Obama during his Antalya, Turkey press conference on Nov. 16, 2015.
Visibly short-tempered with the media, who were unwilling to let him off the hook on his failing ISIS strategy of containment, President Obama said, “If there’s a good idea out there, then we’re going to do it. I don’t think I’ve shown a hesitation to act.” Oh, really.
In an obvious slam at Republican presidential candidates who have been critical of his no-strategy strategy, he said, “If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think somehow that their advisors are better than my joint chiefs of staff or my generals on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate.”
Candidate Sen. Ted Cruz has challenged him to a face-to-face debate, but don’t hold your breath.
I don’t know who is advising the GOP candidates, but former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said, “I think it’s now crystal clear to us that our strategy, our policy, vis-à-vis ISIS is not working and time to look at something else.”
“It’s time to abandon the current policy of ‘strategic patience,’ which is an excuse for a lack of an aggressive, coherent policy,” was the advice of Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.) during his testimony this week before the House committees on Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs.
Keane, the architect of the 2007 “surge” in Iraq, said, “The United States and our allied partners need to wake-up. ISIS is at war with us and civilization, but in my judgement, America is not truly at war with ISIS – not the president, nor the Congress and certainly not the American people.” He went on to lay out his strategy for escalating U.S. military activities in Syria and Iraq.
Then there’s Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), former head of the DIA in the Obama administration, who said this week that the president’s rhetoric on radical Islam is “100 percent wrong,” and that he needs to “get real” on the ISIS threat. He went on to refer to Obama’s “amateurish foreign policy,” declaring it “absurd.”
On the same day the president said we had ISIS contained, ISIS hit Paris. He later told the press, “We have the right strategy and we’re gonna see it through.”
Does that sound like someone willing to listen to the likes of Morrell, Keane and Flynn?
He’s not listening to us either. The latest New York Times/CBS poll indicates that nearly three quarters of Americans (including 63 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Republicans) thought things were going badly for the U.S. in its fight against militants before the Paris attacks.