Last night, Barack Obama promised America that he would take the fight to ISIS/ISIL, using a four-pronged strategy that he laid out in his much-anticipated war speech. In each phase of this strategy, Obama insisted, we would be “joined by a broad coalition of partners,” emphases mine:[youtube]http://youtu.be/spIWGoNZnaU[/youtube]
First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense. Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven. …
This is our strategy. And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners. Already, allies are flying planes with us over Iraq; sending arms and assistance to Iraqi Security Forces and the Syrian opposition; sharing intelligence; and providing billions of dollars in humanitarian aid. Secretary Kerry was in Iraq today meeting with the new government and supporting their efforts to promote unity, and in the coming days he will travel across the Middle East and Europe to enlist more partners in this fight, especially Arab nations who can help mobilize Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria to drive these terrorists from their lands. This is American leadership at its best: we stand with people who fight for their own freedom; and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.
How broad? Well, at least on Phase One, our closest strategic ally is saying no thanks:
Britain’s foreign secretary says his country won’t participate in airstrikes on Syria, following an announcement from Washington that it would begin hitting targets inside the country.
Speaking Thursday after talks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Philip Hammond said Britain won’t be “revisiting” the issue after Parliament decided last year against participating in airstrikes.
For that matter, Germany has also demurred from Phase One as it relates to striking ISIS in Syria:
The foreign ministers of Germany and Britain said on Thursday they would not be taking part in air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State militant group.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a news conference in Berlin that Germany has not been asked to take part in the air strikes and would not be participating. “To quite clear, we have not been asked to do so and neither will we do so,” Steinmeier said.
I’m old enough to remember when not having France in the coalition was enough to discredit George W. Bush’s “coalition of the willing.” France has been at many times a balky ally, but Germany has been more consonant with American policy — and the UK practically our twin on global security. This sounds like a NATO split, which would come at a very bad time indeed for Europe as it faces a resurgent and aggressive Russian threat.
More to the point, though, what does this say about Obama’s strategic preparation? Did he bother to check in with the Brits and the Germans before pledging his “broad coalition of partners” last night? It would appear not, and that Obama just assumed that they would follow whatever plan he laid out last night. Obama could have framed the Syrian phase separately as a uniquely American security concern and set expectations properly. Instead, it looks as though Obama and his political team wrote a speech without building the necessary commitment from allies to allow them to be part of a united front on global security.
And what does that say about the rest of Obama’s claims in the speech?
Unlike Bush’s. Can’t wait for the Times to cover this.
Is that an armie of girlies and trannies?
Bush couldn’t get France to sign onto war with Iraq because France and Iraq were in bed with each other on so much business. The UN would not whole-heartedly support action because of all the “Oil for Food” kickbacks the leadership got. Yet Obama can’t put together a coalition of states being threatened just like we are; because he has pulled the rug out from under far too many allies.
Of course they won’t.
Germany is better at starting and losing wars then winning them. And Britain… Well, Britain (thanks to liberalism) is nothing but a weak and rotting carcass of a once great nation.
Oh well, both countries will be speaking Russian and/or living under Sharia law by 2050 or so (silly Britain is almost there already).
Meanwhile, it’s a damn shame that U.S. citizens gave their lives for these ungrateful countries.
Wow. I thought I knew how stupid Obama is. I am completely dumbfounded by this. What kind of idiot doesn’t ask allies for cooperation before opening his mouth????
@DrJohn#5 – I almost spit out my tea reading your comment. It’s just one hurdle after another isn’t it?
I actually have to take a break from all this stuff. It never actually turns out to be good news.
No Hope and No Change. It just drones on and on and on and on and on and…