Found on Facebook (Clare Spark), I think this nicely describes Obama’s speech last night:
I am not the first to point out that Obama is a postmodern president. Tonight he proved that label by his “not-so-fast” speech on foreign policy vis a vis ISIS. It was what the pomos call ” a performative act”–the last word in magical thinking.
Indeed. Platitudes, chest thumping, equivocation – and absolutely nothing new. He’s given a speech … the act is complete. The “ususal”. Talk equals action.
As we’ve become familiar with the “non-apology apology” in today’s life, we have now been introduced to the “non-strategy strategy”. What he talked about wasn’t a strategy, it was pure justification for doing … not much (even though he made it clear he doesn’t need Congress’s approval to do … not much). Apparently he thinks that a few airstrikes and few advisors will stimulate “allies” to do much more than that and take the bit and run with it. Yeah, that’s always worked so well in the past. Leading from behind again.
Also unknown is how one is going to take an obviously dispirited and seemingly unwilling (incompetent) Iraqi army and turn it around any time soon, but if there is a plan in there, that seems to be it, sort of. Oh, that and a “National Guard” (new name for the “awakening’s” militias)? Say what? But what I mostly got from it was he, like many other mistaken arm-chair generals, believes that he can accomplish “degrading” ISIS by air. First, any significant degradation would require a sustained air campaign on the level of our Gulf War “shock and awe” campaign. Not going to happen. Secondly, finding and killing ISIS C4 nodes, like we did with Saddam, is an extraordinarily difficult task in comparison. While we may randomly accomplish knocking out some of those nodes, it will be mostly luck without good hard timely intelligence (and acted upon immediately) about an enemy which remains mostly mobile.
And how about him deciding ISIS isn’t “Islam” or “Islamic”? Since when does he get to decide? Certainly some parts of greater Islam are against ISIS, but then Sunnis have no use for Shiites either do they? Does that make one or the other not “Islam”. Who gets to decide? Such declarations do Obama’s poor credibility even more damage and feeds the conspiracy theorists. But, that said, one has to wonder why it was so important for him to include that in a national policy speech. It is a total non-sequitur in my opinion. But for whatever reason, he chose to include it.
I think James Joyner has a good take on the speech. His first reaction:
The first thing I’d note is how much it sounded like any number of foreign policy speeches given by his predecessor. He declared again and again that, “As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people” and proudly enumerated all the ways that “we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country.”
Our Peace Prize president sounding like Bush … got to love the irony. Of course what Obama didn’t expound upon is how his withdrawal of troops from Iraq helped enable the ISIS expansion. Reality (i.e. an objective military assessment of the status of the Iraqi army and its actual abilities) rarely, if every, conforms to an arbitrary political deadlines. I think it is clear to everyone the pullout at that time was a very bad idea. It takes time to build an effective fighting force. What is now left in Iraq is a shattered and dispirited force. Because of that, we’re put in the position to again try to salvage a situation there. With greater forethought and less ideology, we would have kept US forces still there to ensure the Iraqi military was actually ready to confront a threat like ISIS instead of pretending it was so to keep a political promise.
Joyner’s second thought:
The second observation is that it’s still not clear exactly what Obama’s strategy is. His stated political objective is to “degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy” but he offered no plan that could plausibly do more than the former.
Well, except for, you know, “air strikes”. Hand wave, promise, done. Polls suck? Hitting ISIS popular? Wag the dog. It’s all about politics and elections, folks. Not the security of the United States. If someone had told him that his poll numbers would rise by not playing golf … well, there are limits you know. If it was truly about the security of the United States, this administration would be working to secure our borders, not ignoring the immigration laws.
Frankly, this is simply the logical continuation of Obama’s existing ISIL non-strategy and, indeed, his general counter-terrorism strategy of blowing up the bad guys and hoping they get tired of it eventually. We could call it the Global War on Terror but, alas, that name’s been taken. That’s rather unsatisfying but it’s not at all obvious what more the United States can or should do to degrade ISIL. The threat to the homeland is too tangential at present to warrant the proverbial boots on the ground. So, it’s Whack-a-Mole with no end in sight.
And the moles will continue to be whacked as we hear glowing progress reports from the Eastasian front.
Because? Well, that’s how we roll now. Back to the future.
The problem, of course, is because of their refusal to secure the southern border and enforce immigration law, it will be innocent Americans who will pay the price if such an attack unfolds. From Judicial Watch via NRO’s “The Corner”:
Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.
Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.
The disturbing inside intelligence comes on the heels of news reports revealing that U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While these terrorists reportedly plan their attack just outside the U.S., President Obama admits that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to combat ISIS. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” the commander-in-chief said this week during a White House press briefing. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”
Mr. Obama, you can’t put the cart before the horse, because you have neither. Neither. You’ve completely failed to secure our borders and you’ve invited this sort of thing to happen for years. You have no strategy for national security, one of your primary jobs.
Any blood from an attack now is completely on your hands. And should an attack come, given all the warnings about the consequences of not securing that border, I think the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” would certainly apply.
I know Americans are torn by the Bergdahl story. Face it, given how poorly things are going, they desperately want a “feel good” story. The Bergdahl repatriation is one where you want to celebrate it, but as the facts come out, you can’t find it in yourself to do so. The guy wasn’t a POW, he deserted and sought out the enemy with the apparent desire to join them.
The administration just as desperately wanted a distraction from all it’s ongoing failures and scandals. But this story and its ending are anything but that. In fact, it stinks to high heaven.
First there’s the way it was done by the administration, which strongly supports the hypothesis that this was done in haste to change the subject and redirect the focus of the news cycle. The subject they were trying to change was their abject failure with the VA. How better to distract from that than repatriating an American soldier and rescuing him from the clutches of the Taliban? Paint him as a hero and take a bow. Let a sympathetic media take it from there.
Except this guy isn’t a hero. He wasn’t “captured”, he deliberately set out to find those who eventually grabbed him and kept him. Since 2010 the Army has determined that this guy deserted his post in time of war. But of course that didn’t stop the Baghdad Bob of this administration, Susan Rice, from heading out to the talk shows soon after the deal was made, and telling us how this deserter had served with “honor and distinction”.
What the administration hadn’t counted on was former soldiers from his unit coming forward and telling the real story. They apparently didn’t know about the 6 soldiers killed in attempts to find and rescue him. The backlash from their attempt to whitewash who this guy was has been overwhelming. And, as usual, points to a clueless administration again bungling it’s attempt at distraction.
But that’s only one part of the story. How about the trade itself? What did it accomplish?
Well for the US, another in a long line of stupid failures. Why “stupid”. Because, as usual, it was ill-conceived plan and a self-inflicted wound. We got back a PFC that deserted (yeah, I know he was promoted while in captivity, but in reality he’s a PFC) and they got this:
- A senior Taliban military commander
- Their deputy minister of intelligence
- Their army chief of staff
- Their governor of the Herat province and former interior minister
- and a senior Taliban figure and security official.
Not only that, the Taliban (aka “the enemy”) got a propaganda coup of unrivaled proportion as “NightWatch” lays it out for us:
The mainstream media have covered the increased risk of hostage-taking as the direct and foreseeable result of the hostage exchange. This was not a prisoner of war exchange.
Two points not mentioned in most mainstream commentary are noteworthy. This exchange invests Omar and his Islamic Emirate with stature that neither had when the Taliban ruled in Afghanistan. It negotiated as an equal with the US and got the better deal. That sets a precedent for potential deals with other NATO members. It is a powerful disincentive for Pakistan to rein in Omar and his cohorts.
The second point is the release of the five Taliban leaders will boost Taliban morale; help improve their organizational and fighting skills and enhance their operations. It might have a ripple effect on the now divided Pakistani Taliban.
The timing could hardly be worse for Allied forces. As NATO draws down its forces, the Taliban get an influx of experienced leaders, undermining years of effort to degrade the leadership. These were men Mullah Omar trusted in the early days of Taliban rule. He now has a seasoned core around which to build a reinvigorated administration and movement.
We, as a nation, have constantly stressed the Taliban is a terror organization. Both Democrats and Republicans. And we’ve also made it a firm rule that we don’t negotiate with them because it does exactly what NightWatch notes this has done. If the Taliban want to empty Guantanamo, they now know how to do it – capture American soldiers. The price and precedent have been set. One can imagine all sorts of scenarios where enterprising Afghans will try to kidnap American soldiers for money from the Taliban. And the Taliban will then expect to trade them for more terrorists. 5 for 1 seems to be the going rate. But with this crew, they’re likely to be able to get an even better deal.
Yes, Afghanistan, which is a deeply hostile place to our soldiers now, just got more dangerous for them. Meanwhile, troop levels will be drawn down to all time lows. Yup, nothing could go wrong with that. Thanks Mr. “Commander-in-Chief”.
I’d like to say the American people are terribly ill served by this abomination of an administration, but that’s just not the case. The majority of them have elected this boob twice. What you see is what you get. You wanted it, you got it – how do you like what you elected?
For the adults in the room who saw through this empty suit and the propaganda machine behind him from the beginning, you will also recognize the terrible damage this man and his administration have done to our national security and foreign relations. It will take decades to recover from this debacle of a White House.
And then there’s the economy, and VA, and Benghazi, and the IRS scandal and the NSA, Fast and Furious, executive orders, EPA …
One of the foreign policy promises Barack Obama made was that during his presidency, America would have a “light footprint” on world affairs. Our first indicator of what that meant was the action in Libya when the US “led from behind”. The Obama administration belived that pulling back from our strong presence and position in the world would help mollify other powers and usher in a new era of peaceful cooperation with America as a partner and not necessarily the leader.
How has that worked out?
The White House was taken by surprise by Vladimir V. Putin’s decisions to invade Crimea, but also by China’s increasingly assertive declaration of exclusive rights to airspace and barren islands.
Neither the economic pressure nor the cyberattacks that forced Iran to reconsider its approach have prevented North Korea’s stealthy revitalization of its nuclear and missile programs. In short, America’s adversaries are testing the limits of America’s post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan moment.
“We’re seeing the ‘light footprint’ run out of gas,” said one of Mr. Obama’s former senior national security aides, who would not speak on the record about his ex-boss.
What we’re actually seeing is naivete in foreign policy head toward a predictable conclusion. Foreign policy isn’t bean bag and it has been established many times in history that the retreat of a great power from the world’s stage will see other seemingly lesser powers attempt to fill or take advantage of that power vacuum.
The “light footprint” didn’t “run out of gas”, the light footprint was foreign policy destined for failure from its inception. Mr. Obama and his foreign policy team were warned about that constantly and preferred to ignore both the warnings and history.
Mr. Obama acknowledges, at least in private, that he is managing an era of American retrenchment. History suggests that such eras — akin to what the United States went through after the two world wars and Vietnam — often look like weakness to the rest of the world. His former national security adviser Thomas Donilon seemed to acknowledge the critical nature of the moment on Sunday when he said on “Face the Nation” that what Mr. Obama was facing was “a challenge to the post-Cold War order in Europe, an order that we have a lot to do with.”
But while Mr. Donilon expressed confidence that over time the United States holds powerful tools against Russia and other nations, in the short term challengers like Mr. Putin have the advantage on the ground.
Mr. Obama is managing “an era of American retrenchment” he initiated.
It doesn’t look like a period of weakness to the rest of the world, it is a period of weakness that is compounded by our weak leadership. We’re engaged in bringing our military down to pre-WWII levels and we’ve made it clear that we’re not interested in fulfilling treaty obligations with the likes of the Ukraine. How else would one interpret our actions?
And, of course, one of the best ways we could address this particular crisis is to up our shipments of natural gas to Europe so they weren’t dependent of Russian pipeline supplies that flow through the Ukraine. That would give Europe some leverage because they wouldn’t be held hostage by their need for Russian petro supplies. But on the domestic front, the Obama administration has made building the necessary infrastructure to cash in on our growing natural gas boom almost impossible.
Are Russia and others testing the limits? You bet they are and all of those interested in those limits are watching this drama unfold. To this point, it appears Russia sees no downside to its action. Should that continue to be the case, you can be assured other nations will also “test the limits.”
This is Mr. Obama’s 3am phone call. And it appears he has let it go to the answering machine.
Well this has to be embarrassing:
A State Department travel alert Friday said al Qaeda may launch attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond, as the United States is closing 21 embassies and consulates Sunday as a precaution.
“Current information suggests that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” said the alert, which covers the entire month.
It warned that “terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests.”
A separate State Department list showed the 21 embassies and consulates that will close on Sunday, normally the start of the work week in the countries affected.
Recall, in 2012, our fearless “leader” told us this, numerous times (in fact, about 32 times):
On Sept. 13 in Golden, Colo., Obama said, “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and we did. I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan — and we are. And while a new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” He repeated that line again on Sept. 17 in Cincinnati and again that day in Columbus, Ohio.
It is one of the reasons Benghazi is so “inconvenient” and they chose to invest in a lie. Now this.
No attempt to actually be transparent and, apparently, feeling no need to pretend otherwise:
Sen. Richard Burr, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that the CIA has “flatly refused” to give some Benghazi-related documents to the committee, which is conducting an investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the State Department and CIA personnel and facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
Sen. Burr made the assertion last week at the confirmation hearing for John Brennan, whom President Barack Obama has nominated to be director of the CIA. Brennan currently serves as the president’s counterterrorism adviser.
“Mr. Brennan, as you know, the committee’s conducting a thorough inquiry into the attacks in Benghazi, Libya,” Sen. Burr said. “In the course of this investigation, the CIA has repeatedly delayed and in some cases flatly refused to provide documents to this committee.”
None of the other members of the committee contradicted Burr’s assertion.
Of course not. That’s because it is a fact.
Not that the administration much cares. It has found that “flatly refusing” works. “What does it matter now?” is the new attitude.
And that’s despite the usual promises:
At the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks, Gen. David Petraeus was director of the CIA. When Petraeus appeared at his confirmation hearing in the Senate intelligence committee on June 23, 2011, Chairman Dianne Feinstein asked him a set of questions that the committee routinely asks those nominated to run the CIA. At John Brennan’s confirmation hearing on Feb. 7, Feinstein asked Brennan exactly the same questions.
Feinstein asked Petreaus, “Do you agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee in order for it to carry out its oversight and legislative responsibilities?”
“Yes, I do,” said Petreaus.
“Will you ensure that the CIA and its officials provide such materials to the committee when requested?” asked Feinstein.
“I will,” said Petreaus.
“Do you agree to inform and fully brief to the fullest extent possible all members of this committee of intelligence activities and covert actions rather than only the chairman and vice chairman?” asked Feinstein.
“Yes, I do,” said Petraeus.
Last week, John Brennan was equally direct in answering these questions.
Feinstein asked Brennan, “Do you agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee in order for it to carry out its oversight and legislative responsibilities?”
“Yes, all documents that come under my authority as director of CIA, I absolutely will,” said Brennan.
“Will you ensure that the CIA and its officials provide such materials to the committee when requested?” asked Feinstein.
“Yes,” said Brennan.
“Do you agree to inform and fully brief to the fullest extent possible all members of this committee of intelligence activities and covert actions rather than only the chairman and vice chairman?” asked Feinstein.
“Yes, I will endeavor to do that,” said Brennan.
Later in the same hearing, however, when Burr asked Brennan about the documents Burr said the CIA was refusing to give to the committee, Brennan qualified his answer—leaving open the possibility that as CIA director there may be occasions when he would decline to provide documents to the committee.
And the circus continues. Love the line, he ‘qualified his answer’. He shored up his lie is more like it.
Given the last election, though, we’ve got the very government we deserve. Inept, unqualified, mordant, bickering party members whose first allegiance isn’t to their country, but instead to their party. Why anyone would trust them with running a dog kennel much less a national government is beyond me. But we have.
Behold the result.
Jackson Diehl takes an interesting look at the Obama doctrine for foreign policy or, as some have called it, “leading from behind”. Diehl prefers to call it the “light footprint” doctrine:
Contrary to the usual Republican narrative, Obama did not lead a U.S. retreat from the world. Instead he sought to pursue the same interests without the same means. He has tried to preserve America’s place as the “indispensable nation” while withdrawing ground troops from war zones, cutting the defense budget, scaling back “nation-building” projects and forswearing U.S.-led interventions.
It’s a strategy that supposes that patient multilateral diplomacy can solve problems like Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability; that drone strikes can do as well at preventing another terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland as do ground forces in Afghanistan; that crises like that of Syria can be left to the U.N. Security Council.
Okay. I really dont’ buy into the claim that Obama hasn’t led a “U.S. retreat from the world”, but I’m willing to stipulate that to get to the rest.
The rest, of course, has to do with the ineffectiveness and potential problems this doctrine presents. And they’re not small problems either. One thing that observers of world affairs seem to pick up on fairly quickly is that someone or something will fill a power vacuum. Say what you want about “light footprints” or “leading from behind”, it has indeed created that sort of vacuum. And other countries, notably Russia and China globally and Iran regionally, are busily trying to figure out how to fill that vacuum.
Perhaps, in the long run, it is best we do withdraw somewhat. Fiscal reality demands at least some reductions and foreign policy is not exempt. But it should be done shrewdly and according to some overall plan that carefully considers the ramifications of such a withdrawal.
Secondly, it likely makes sense not to involve ourselves too deeply in situations that don’t really concern us or threaten our security. Like Libya. It is interesting that Libya was a “go”, but Syria was a “no-go”, considering the stated reasoning (or propaganda if you prefer) for intervention in Libya.
So how has it worked? Well, for a while it seemed to be working well enough – and then:
For the last couple of years, the light footprint worked well enough to allow Obama to turn foreign policy into a talking point for his reelection. But the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 should have been a red flag to all who believe this president has invented a successful new model for U.S. leadership. Far from being an aberration, Benghazi was a toxic byproduct of the light footprint approach — and very likely the first in a series of boomerangs.
Why were Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans murdered by Libyan jihadists? The preliminary round of official investigations may focus on decisions by mid-level officials at the State Department that deprived the Benghazi mission of adequate security, and a failure by the large CIA team in the city to detect the imminent threat from extremist groups.
But ultimately the disaster in Libya derived from Obama’s doctrine. Having been reluctantly dragged by France and Britain into intervening in Libya’s revolution, Obama withdrew U.S. planes from the fight as quickly as possible; when the war ended, the White House insisted that no U.S. forces stay behind. Requests by Libya’s fragile transition government for NATO’s security assistance were answered with an ill-conceived and ultimately failed program to train a few people in Jordan.
Where does that leave us?
A new report by the Rand Corporation concludes that “this lighter-footprint approach has made Libya a test case for a new post-Iraq and Afghanistan model of nation-building.” But the result is that, a year after the death of dictator Moammar Gaddafi, Libya is policed by what amounts to a mess of militias. Its newly elected government has little authority over most of the country’s armed men — much less the capacity to take on the jidhadist forces gathering in and around Benghazi.
The Rand study concludes that stabilizing Libya will require disarming and demobilizing the militias and rebuilding the security forces “from the bottom up.” This, it says, probably can’t happen without help from “those countries that participated in the military intervention” — i.e. the United States, Britain and France. Can the Obama administration duplicate the security-force-building done in Iraq and Afghanistan in Libya while sticking to the light footprint? It’s hard to see how.
It certainly is. In fact, Libya is a disaster. If the purpose of US foreign policy is to enhance the interests of the US I defy anyone to tell me how that has been done in Libya. And now there are rumors we’re going to do the same thing in Mali (mainly because much of the weaponry that the Gaddafi government had has spread across the Middle East after their fall, to include terrorist groups which are now basing out of Mali).
How will the Obama administration answer these challenges? Diehl thinks he’ll rely even more heavily on drone strikes. But again, one has to ask how that furthers and serves the best interests of the United States:
A paper by Robert Chesney of the University of Texas points out that if strikes begin to target countries in North Africa and groups not directly connected to the original al-Qaeda leadership, problems with their legal justification under U.S. and international law “will become increasingly apparent and problematic.” And that doesn’t account for the political fallout: Libyan leaders say U.S. drone strikes would destroy the goodwill America earned by helping the revolution.
Anyone who still believes the myth that we’re better loved in the Middle East right now, needs to give up smoking whatever it is they’re smoking. Adding increased drone strikes in more countries certainly won’t promote “goodwill” toward America. It will, instead, provide jihadists with all the ammunition they need to demonize the country further – which, of course, helps recruiting.
I’m not contending this is easy stuff or there’s a slam-dunk alternate solution. But I am saying that doing what was done in Libya for whatever high sounding reason has been a disaster, has not served the best interests of the United States and, in fact, will most likely be detrimental to its interests.
It is, as Deihl points out, a huge red flag. The doctrine of choice right now is not the doctrine we should be pursuing if the results are like those we’ve gotten in Libya. If ever there was a time for a ‘reset’ in our foreign policy approach, this is it.
When government leaks sensitive national security information to the press, of course.
President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence "finding," broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
What is it that occurs in early November? And who needs a little boost?
That’s what our intel guys are saying:
U.S. government officials, citing new intelligence, said Iran has developed plans to disrupt international oil trade, including through attacks on oil platforms and tankers.
Officials said the information suggests that Iran could take action against facilities both inside and outside the Persian Gulf, even absent an overt military conflict.
The findings come as American officials closely watch Iran for its reaction to punishing international sanctions and to a drumbeat of Israeli threats to bomb Tehran’s nuclear sites, while talks aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons have slowed.
Now, of course, “developing plans” and actually executing them are entirely different things. But, as irrational as Iran can be sometimes, the development of such plans has to be taken seriously.
If you’ve been paying attention over the past few months, we’ve been creeping any number of assets closer to Iran. So obviously we believe where there is smoke we may see fire.
"Iran is very unpredictable," said a senior defense official. "We have been very clear what we as well as the international community find unacceptable."
The latest findings underscore why many military officials continue to focus on Iran as potentially the most serious U.S. national-security concern in the region, even as the crisis in Syria has deepened and other conflicts, as in Libya, have raged.
Defense officials cautioned there is no evidence that Tehran has moved assets in position to disrupt tankers or attack other sites, but stressed that Iran’s intent appears clear.
Iran has a number of proxies, as we all know, none of whom have much use for the US or the rest of the Western world. What would possibly cause Iran to attempt to strike at outside targets? The belief that they could get away with it:
But U.S. officials said some Iranians believe they could escape a direct counterattack by striking at other oil facilities, including those outside the Persian Gulf, perhaps by using its elite forces or external proxies.
I’m not sure how one thinks they can escape retribution by such tactics, but it is enough to believe you can. And apparently there are some in Iran who do. That’s dangerous, depending on where they sit in the decision making hierarchy.
The officials wouldn’t describe the intelligence or its sources, but analysts said statements in the Iranian press and by lawmakers in Tehran suggest the possibility of more-aggressive action in the Persian Gulf as a response to the new sanctions. Iranian oil sales have dropped and prices have remained low, pinching the government.
So, we wait. And creep more assets into the area. And wait.
As an aside to all the arm-chair defense experts who claim we shouldn’t be developing advanced weaponry because all our future wars are likely to be “just like Afghanistan”.
Yes sir, that Arab Spring is really what we all wanted, isn’t it? So much so that the US and NATO helped this particular one along. In Libya:
While the elections for a 200-member National Congress is unlikely to grant a majority to any one faction, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies are confident they can join their counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt at the helm of leadership.
Negotiations between the Muslim Brotherhood and a secular-based political movement led by former interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril have focused on forming a post-election government as soon as the result is known.
An adviser to Mr Jibril said the former prime minister was likely to take the post of figurehead president with Mustafa Abu Shagour, currently interim deputy prime minister of the Muslim Brotherhood, taking the prime minister’s slot as head of government.
The Muslim Brotherhood would dominate the ministries.
And what pan-Islamist faction is positioned in Syria along with its militant al Qaeda brothers to take the reigns there when the current government eventually falls?
Why the same Muslim Brotherhood now ascendant in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
All good, right?
Exactly what we expected and wanted, right?
Foreign policy success, right?
Caliphate? What Caliphate?