Obama is trying to apply a strategy in incremental steps. His strategy depends on too many factors, which might go right or wrong.
The first factor is his self-imposed restriction of refusing to commit American forces (boots on the ground). He stays faithful or stubborn to his refusal to commit U.S. troops to another major Middle East entanglement – citing the quagmire that developed after the Iraq War.
The next factor is the nature of civil wars in the region, Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Northern- and Central-African countries, which have fractured those nations and allowed ISIS to build a vast cross-border terror haven. Even if the air campaign against ISIS in strongholds succeeds – progress may be fleeting without a vast ground force to secure territory, consolidate gains and allow space for the return of administrative politics. But Western leaders, with Iraq in mind and the unwillingness of Obama to commit ground forces and the complexity of the multiple conflicts in the areas, have little desire or political backing to commit a vast land army.
The next factor is the failure of regional, Arab and other powers to step into the breach. Those governments are no more willing or able to thrust their soldiers to do a good job either. And many have goals in Syria that contradict Obama’s aspirations, leading to inertia. Then there is the influence of other powers involved in Syria, like Iran and Russia – which may have common interests in defeating ISIS – but are hardly on the same page as the U.S. The only positive thing for Obama and his administration is the increasing role of allies like France and Britain in the military air campaign over Syria. But due to the limited assigned resources of its partners, Washington will still do most of the heavy lifting in the air campaign. Arab partners have stepped back. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are now more focused on combating Houthi rebels in Yemen and pulled their part of the the bombing campaign.
The next factor is that the White House is working with Turkey to seal the remaining 98 kilometers of unsecured border with Syria. That doesn’t seem to work as well, because of economical and practical reasons. Trying to Turkey to corporate, while at the same time criticize and restrict the country otherwise is not the way to get this project working soon.
Obama’s ‘incremental stepping strategy’ doesn’t seem to work, as was to expect. Such strategy is too complicated, it depends on too many factors, it is too easily disrupted and it seems to originate from a dusty book about strategies for the dummies. This amateurish strategy wasted precious time, which could be spend on stopping the ISIS and the increasing influence and advancements of the Islamic extremism all over the world.
Now the devil is out of the bottle and the ISIS and other Islamic extremists are totally out of control, expanding their ideological influences all over the world and poisoning the minds of Muslims young and old. The Obama administration is trying to fight this by … rebuffing the connection between ISIS and Islam. Obama is also trying to deny the growing support for the more extremistic Islamic ideology, which really happens in front of his nose. The Arab and Muslim support for the ideology, which drives ISIS and Saudi Arabia is growing to 11.5% or 42 million Muslims worldwide. That’s what Donald Trump means with his shocking statements.
As a direct result of his failed foreign policies, the pressure of terror attacks on America is becoming bigger and bigger and now it’s waiting for the breaking point. It’s a given that it’s a question of time that one or more terror attacks come through the formidable anti-terror defenses of the US.
It’s disappointing and worrying that President Obama didn’t address the issues of international terror for the citizens in the US and outside. It’s a disgrace that President Obama is trying to avoid the confrontation by applying avoidance tactics.
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