This just in from the Gee No Kidding Desk: Washington Post reports that current and former top generals are more vocally expressing disgust with what they consider Obama’s feckless and politically motivated strategy for dealing with ISIS, particularly the decision not to deploy ground combat assets.
In spite of years of the Obama administration purging the military’s upper ranks of dissenting voices, along with their well-known heavy hand in silencing critics, at some point men of honor and good conscience will speak out. Appalled at Obama’s apparent inability to see or anticipate the rise of ISIS, which he famously called the “JV” of the terrorist world, they’ve found that his strategy, slow in coming, seems designed for show and not for success.
Military leaders have increasingly suggested that Obama’s political promises are restricting their ability to fight. On Wednesday, former defense secretary Robert M. Gates, still an influential figure at the Pentagon, bluntly criticized his former boss. “There will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy,” Gates said in an interview with CBS News, adding that “the president in effect traps himself” by repeating his mantra that he won’t send U.S. troops into combat.
These military men have 20 years experience dealing with war in that region and against those enemies, but have routinely found their counsel ignored by a man and his henchmen who seem convinced of their own brilliance.
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who served under Obama until last year, became the latest high-profile skeptic on Thursday, telling the House Intelligence Committee that a blanket prohibition on ground combat was tying the military’s hands. “Half-hearted or tentative efforts, or airstrikes alone, can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” he said. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.”
As predictable as a dog barking at cars, the administration trotted out the #AllIsWell brigade for damage control.
The White House and Pentagon have scurried this week to insist there is no hint of dissent in the ranks, though in some cases their efforts have focused only more attention on the issue. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tried to reassure the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday that civilian and military leaders at the Pentagon were in “full alignment” and in “complete agreement with every component of the president’s strategy.”
History teaches us that peace is achieved when the forces of evil and tyranny are destroyed to the point of lacking the will or the capacity to wage war anymore. More recent history tells us you can’t finish a war from the air (unless you nuke them, of course). But Obama, taught at the feet of brilliant historians Bill Ayers and Frank Marshall Davis, clearly knows better.
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!