Tag Archives: Foreign Policy

Surprise! Anti-war President blocked 75% of airstrikes on ISIS targets

Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time
Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time

Washington Free Beacon reports.


U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress.

Strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets are often blocked due to an Obama administration policy to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The policy is being blamed for allowing Islamic State militants to gain strength across Iraq and continue waging terrorist strikes throughout the region and beyond, according to Royce and former military leaders who spoke Wednesday about flaws in the U.S. campaign to combat the Islamic State.

“You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can’t drop, we can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us,” Royce said. “I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit.”

A quick review… here’s an article from earlier this year from the Wall Street Journal, about the low number of air strikes being conducted per day by President Pantywaist:

While it is still too early to proclaim the air campaign against Islamic State a failure, it may be instructive to compare it with other campaigns conducted by the U.S. military since the end of the Cold War that were deemed successes. For instance, during the 43-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991, coalition fighters and bombers flew 48,224 strike sorties. This translates to roughly 1,100 sorties a day. Twelve years later, the 31-day air campaign that helped free Iraq from Saddam’s government averaged more than 800 offensive sorties a day.

By contrast, over the past two months U.S. aircraft and a small number of partner forces have conducted 412 total strikes in Iraq and Syria—an average of seven strikes a day. With Islamic State in control of an area approaching 50,000 square miles, it is easy to see why this level of effort has not had much impact on its operations.

Of course, air operations during Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom were each supported by a massive coalition force on the ground. Thus it may be more appropriate to compare current operations against Islamic State with the 78-day air campaign against Serbian forces and their proxies in 1999, or the 75-day air campaign in Afghanistan that was instrumental in forcing the Taliban out of power in 2001.

Both campaigns relied heavily on partner forces on the ground augmented by a small but significant number of U.S. troops. These air campaigns averaged 138 and 86 strike sorties a day respectively—orders of magnitude greater than the current tempo of operations against Islamic State.

Now, Obama is fond of saying that he is very interested in alternatives to his plans, and in fact, such an alternative exists – from his former top intelligence official:

Writing in Politico, Obama’s former top intelligence official, Mike Vickers, thoroughly dismantled Obama’s ISIS strategy, saying that “by any measure, our strategy in Iraq and Syria is not succeeding, or is not succeeding fast enough.”

Vickers’ credentials on this matter are impeccable. Until earlier this year, he was undersecretary of defense for intelligence, overseeing the NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency. An Army Special Forces veteran, he’s served as a key advisor to four presidents, and was the principal strategist behind the U.S. effort to defeat the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

[…]Whereas Obama insists that the attacks against ISIS must be “a long-term campaign,” Vickers explains that “time is not on our side” and that “we are playing a long game, when a more rapid and disruptive strategy is required.”

Vickers says that, contrary to what Obama claims, ISIS “cannot be contained any more than al-Qaida could prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”

Obama dismisses ISIS as “killers with fantasies of glory who are very savvy when it comes to social media,” and who “pretend that they are a functioning state.”

Vickers explains that ISIS “is a de facto state. It holds territory, controls population, and funds its operations from resources that it exploits on territory it controls.”

While Obama seems to think that the best we can hope for is to someday “shrink” the territory ISIS controls “to defeat their narrative,” Vickers notes that Obama is needlessly handicapping the military: The “one thing the American military knows how to do is defeating an opposing force trying to hold ground.”

According to Obama, the only alternative to his minimalist ISIS strategy is another Iraq quagmire. Not so, says Vickers. “There are a lot of operational options between what we did in Iraq and what we didn’t do in Libya.”

Vickers says another leg of Obama’s “strategy” — namely that any resolution of the ISIS problem has to involve “a resolution to the Syria situation” — is wrong. On this point, in fact, he is emphatic. “We must not succumb to the false hope that ending the Syrian civil war is the key to defeating ISIS.”

Vickers also rejects joining forces with Russia in this clash.

In his press conference, Obama also complained that he hadn’t seen any “particular strategies that they would suggest that would make a real difference.”

Well, Vickers has one. Follow the model used to defeat the Taliban, and the Soviet army before that, in Afghanistan.

So, suppose there is a Paris-style attack within the United States that is planned and led by Islamic State elements. Will we be able to say that Obama has done everything he could to keep us safe? We have a porous southern border, pulling our forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan, a nearly constant stream of security breaches, massive cuts to defense spending, $140 billion dollars for Iran, cuts in military pay, and military morale at an all-time low. This President has no interest in protecting the American people.

When we get whacked by our enemies, and innocent people die, remember that Obama coddled those same enemies and let them do that to us. He doesn’t think Islamic State is evil, he doesn’t think that America is good, he doesn’t see that it’s his job as defeating evil and protecting Americans from evil.

The “Christian” left’s Biblical argument for taking in Syrian refugees

Bible study that hits the spot
Bible study that hits the spot

A couple of my “Christian” friends are in favor of welcoming in Syrian refugees, because “the Bible says we have to be nice”. Does the Bible really support their view? Let’s take a look.

Wisdom requires us to avoid risks and threats

First, from Erick Erickson at Red State.

He writes:

Imagine a scenario where a Christian watches arsonists burn down a neighbor’s home, then demands that you house the neighbor as their house is in smoldering rubble.

That is basically why we have a Syrian refugee crisis. A group of Christians and secularists demanded we do nothing while ISIS sacked, raped, and pillages across the Middle East, displacing millions of Syrians. Now, we are supposed to take them all in.

[…][I]n addition to doing nothing as the situation worsened in the Middle East, the President has consistently refused to provide arms to Christian militias in the Middle East — Christians eager to protect and defend their homeland.

[…][I]t does little good for Christians to quote scripture to claim their Christianity is better than ours and that we should go along with them to house and feed Syrian refugees. Christ did command us to be charitable and open our doors. But he did not command us to do so foolishly.

In Judges 12:5-6 we find this:

And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell.

In the early Christian church the Christians used an ichthus as a secret symbol so Christians knew friend from foe. Both were bits of discernment to ensure the faithful were not slaughtered by their enemies.

If we can find a shibboleth or ichthus to separate friend from foe, bring in the friendly refugees. But if not, we ask to much of our fellow citizens in a time of war and subterfuge where evil masquerades as good.

Christians and secularists using this issue to claim they are better, more sincere, more devout, or less racist than those who object should more readily be considered fools. Christ said to pick up our cross, not rush on out to the lions in the Coliseum.

Frankly, whenever “Christians” on the left talk to me about politics, I usually find that their compassionate approach (e.g. – retreating from Iraq, etc. ) causes the very problems (e.g. – refugee crisis) that they now want to solve with more compassion. Guess what? A better way to fix problems in the world is by 1) naming and destroying evil and 2) encouraging people to adopt Western values, like capitalism and freedom. If you look at history (e.g. – World War 2), what you find is that it is always the weak, pacifist left that emboldens aggression from tyrants. Let him who desires peace prepare for war – because preparedness for war is a deterrent against aggression.

The difference between micro and macro

And the second article comes from legal rock star and moderate conservative David French, writing in National Review. (I don’t link to National Review any more, because the site is so cluttered it )

He writes:

As a general matter, advocates of open borders often refer to Mosaic law requiring the Israelites to treat the “foreigner residing with you” as if foreigners were “native-born,” and to “Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” The laws of Israel, they point out, applied equally to the “foreigner” and the “native-born.”

Putting aside that Mosaic Law would prohibit refugees from worshiping Allah, demand the death penalty for many of the core activities of the sexual revolution, and impose dietary restrictions that the latté Left might find a bit onerous, we can see that these critics are making a basic error: interpreting commands directed at individuals as mandates for national policy. Jesus commanded his followers to “not resist an evil person” — to turn the other cheek when struck and to hand over your coat when they demand your shirt. He did not mandate that we surrender New Mexico if an invader demands Texas, or capitulate to Japan when it bombs Pearl Harbor.

It’s very important to ask people who quote the Bible for one issue whether they consider the Bible an authority on other issues. In my view, Obama is an atheist, and does not respect the Bible on issues from definition of marriage, to flat taxes, to self-defense, to abortion. When a secular leftist quotes the Bible, always ask them if the Bible is an authority first, so yu can spot the hypocrisy.


Indeed, Scripture draws a clear line between the responsibility of the individual and the role of the state. Individuals are to forswear vengeance, leaving justice to earthly rulers as God’s “agents of wrath” who bring “punishment on the wrongdoer.” The state has an affirmative responsibility to protect its citizens, even to the point of bringing a sense of “terror” to those “who do wrong.” There is no contradiction between personally welcoming the “strangers” among us while our leaders endeavor to protect us from a genocidal terrorist force that uses refugee status as a shield and disguise to perpetrate brutal attacks against innocent civilians.

This is not to say that Scripture creates a paradigm of compassionate individuals and heartless governments. Throughout the Bible, entire nations — not just individuals — are condemned for injustice, including unjust treatment of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. But to say that the only way to meet that standard is to open our doors to migrants when we know our enemy intends to plant terrorists within their ranks is once again to read far too much into Scripture.

Christianity is not a worldview that just advocates for doing whatever makes us feel good, whatever makes us look nice to others. We have to think about actually DOING good – achieving good results. We don’t have enough money to solve poverty if all we do is encourage people to be poor. We don’t have to stop evil if we let it grow from a regional annoyance into a world-class threat. We should be acting to punish and deter evil, and we should only be giving to the poor only when it helps them to rise up out of poverty. If we condone evil and encourage people to make decisions that lead to poverty, it just makes the situation worse for everyone. Sometimes, Christians need to set moral boundaries on others, and vote for the state to punish evil, so that we don’t have to deal with expensive and painful consequences later on.

The costs of pacificism and compassion

By the way,the estimate for the cost of taking in 10,000 refugees is $6.5 billion.  Did you know that money doesn’t grow on trees? We already have doubled our national debt under these Democrats to $20 trillion. The spending has to stop somewhere – and that doesn’t mean that individual Christians and charities cannot give to solve the problem. But government is run off of taxpayer money, and right now, WE DON’T HAVE ANY. Interesting that many of the people who want to spend more on these refugees live off of taxpayer money themselves.

And here are a couple of stories just from this morning about Christians suffering because of our military pullout:

I think it’s important to ask the Christian left how they feel about their anti-war views now that we know the costs and also the results of their pacifism for Christians abroad. When we go into battle, we should stay the course until the battlefield stabilizes. That’s what we did in Japan, South Korea and so many other places with cultures that were hostile to Western values. Western values do “take”, but it takes patience and time.

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Hillary Clinton’s State Department ignored 600+ requests for more security in Benghazi

Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help
Hillary Clinton bored by the deaths of 4 Americans who repeatedly asked for help

Moderate Republican Hugh Hewitt played the “smoking gun” clips on his radio show on Thursday night. The best questions came from Congressman Mike Pompeo and Congressman Jim Jordan.

CNS News has the full transcript of the Pompeo questions.

Mike Pompeo transcript:

POMPEO: “Do you know how many security requests there were in the 1st quarter of 2012?”

CLINTON: “For everyone or for Benghazi?”

POMPEO: “I’m sorry, yes ma’am. Related to Benghazi and Libya. Do you know how many there were?”


POMPEO: “Ma’am, there were just over 100 plus. In the 2nd quarter, do you know how many there were?”

CLINTON: “No, I do not.”

POMPEO: “Ma’am there were 172ish – might have been 171 or 173. … How many were there in July and August and then in that week and few days before the attacks? Do you know?”

CLINTON: “There were a number of them. I know that.”

POMPEO: “Yes, ma’am – 83 by our count. That’s over 600 requests. You’ve testified this morning that you’ve had none of those reach your desk. Is that correct also?”

CLINTON: “That’s correct.”

POMPEO: “Madam Secretary, Mr. Blumenthal wrote you 150 emails. It appears from the materials that we’ve read that all of those reached your desk.

“Can you tell us why security requests from your professionals, the men that you just testified … are incredibly professional, incredibly capable people, trained in the art of keeping us all safe, none of those made it to you, but a man who was a friend of yours, who’d never been to Libya, didn’t know much about it – at least that’s his testimony – didn’t know much about it, every one of those reports that he sent on to you that had to do with situations on the ground in Libya, those made it to your desk?

“You asked for more of them. You read them. You corresponded with him, and yet the folks that worked for you didn’t have the same courtesy.”

Full recording (10 minutes):

Here are the details of Jim Jordan’s questioning from the Washington Free Beacon:

On the night of the attack, Jordan said, Clinton had a phone call with the president of Libya where she told him Ansar al-Sharia was claiming responsibility.

The next day, Jordan said, Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister something “significant,” where she acknowledged they knew the attack in Libya had nothing to do with any video.

“We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film,” Jordan read out from Clinton’s email. “It was a planned attack. Not a protest. Let me read that one more time. We know, not we think, not it might be, we know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with a film. It was a planned attack. Not a protest. State Department experts knew the truth. You knew the truth, but that’s not what the American people got. Again, the American people want to know why. Why didn’t you tell the American people exactly what you told the Egyptian prime minister?”

[…]Jordan showed with other emails that her top staffers were already discussing the political ramifications of the attack and how to respond. He said Clinton picked the option of a “video narrative” “with no evidence” because she wanted the Libya situation to be a key success story for the Obama administration.

“You did it because Libya was supposed to be this great success story for the Obama White House and the Clinton State Department, and a key campaign theme that year was GM’s alive, bin Laden’s dead, al-Qaeda’s on the run,” Jordan said. “Now you have a terrorist attack, and it’s a terrorist attack in Libya and it’s just 56 days before an election. You can live with the protest about a video. That won’t hurt you, but a terrorist attack will. So you can’t be square with the American people.”

Full recording (10 minutes):

Now, you will hear a lot in the mainstream media that Hillary Clinton took no damage and did a great job in the hearings. But that is a lie. And I’m going to cite Chuck Todd to explain what really happened in the hearings:

NBC’s Chuck Todd said former secretary of state Hillary Clinton “has no good answers” to offer Thursday on the Libya policy she was part of in the Obama administration when she testifies before the Benghazi Select Committee.

[…]“There’s two tough things that she has to deal with,” Todd said. “One is for 15 years, the State Department was told it had to improve embassy security. 15 years. This is four secretaries of state, and she along with three other secretaries of state didn’t do that. And second, it’s about Libya and the decision to go into Libya. That’s where she has no good answers.”

So two points. First, the State Department refused to respond to 600+ requests for additional security leading up to the attack. And even more important, Hillary Clinton told multiple people that the attack was a terrorist attack, days before she came out and said that the attack was a spontaneous demonstration caused by “an Internet video”. She told this to the family of the victims, when she knew that the truth was different. Why is this woman leading the Democrat primary? Do Democrat voters not pay attention to national security and foreign policy?

UPDATE: Stephen Hayes has a Weekly Standard podcast episode to comment on the hearings.

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What Putin is teaching us about foreign policy: Obama’s weakness provokes aggression

Vladimir Putin and the Clown of the United States
Vladimir Putin and the Community Organizer of the United States

Other than Weekly Standard, my two favorite places to read about foreign policy are the Wall Street Journal and the UK Telegraph. And my favorite writer from all three of these is Bret Stephens, columnist at the Wall Street Journal.

Here is his latest article (click through to WSJ), then we’ll go to the UK Telegraph after.

Stephens writes:

David Petraeus testified last month to the Senate Armed Services Committee on U.S. policy in the Middle East. Regarding Syria, the former general and CIA director urged a credible threat to destroy Bashar Assad’s air force if it continues to bomb its own people. He also recommended “the establishment of enclaves in Syria protected by coalition air power, where a moderate Sunni force could be supported and where additional forces could be trained, internally displaced persons could find refuge, and the Syrian opposition could organize.”

But Barack Obama does not agree. At his Friday press conference, the president described such views as “mumbo-jumbo,” “half-baked ideas,” “as-if” solutions, a willful effort to “downplay the challenges involved in the situation.” He says the critics have no answers to the questions of “what exactly would you do and how would you fund it and how would you sustain it.”

America’s greatest living general might as well have been testifying to his shower drain for all the difference his views are going to make in this administration.

So it is with this president. It’s not enough for him to stake and defend his positions. He wants you to know that he thinks deeper, sees further, knows better, operates from a purer motive. His preferred method for dealing with disagreement is denigration. If Republicans want a tougher line in Syria, they’re warmongers.

Yes. Every time the President gives a speech on policy, you can count on him to present alternatives to his own very left-wing views as incredibly evil, incredibly stupid or both. He thinks that he knows everything, and that talking to people who disagree with him, no matter how qualified they are (e.g. – General Petraeus) would be a waste of time. Everyone who opposes his fact-free, pot-smoking, college dorm discussion view of reality is stupid or evil or both. And this man is President.


For a relatively trivial investment of some jet fighters and a brigade-sized support force, Moscow extends its influence in the eastern Mediterranean, deepens a commercially and strategically productive alliance with Iran, humiliates the U.S., boosts Mr. Putin’s popularity at home, and earns a geopolitical card he can play in any number of negotiations—Ukraine, gas contracts, Mr. Assad’s political future, you name it. If things don’t work out, he can pull up stakes within a week without much loss of money, lives or prestige. It’s a perfect play.

Now let’s go to the UK Telegraph, and Matthew K. Lewis.

He writes:

Russian warplanes began bombing American-backed Syrian opposition strongholds on Wednesday, a move that can be viewed as the latest example of American humiliation abroad.

As was the case when Russians invaded Ukraine, the Russians cloaked their activity in lies.

In the former example, Russian soldiers didn’t wear uniforms, a thinly-veiled move meant to create the impression the fighters were merely Ukrainian “separatists.”

Likewise, Wednesday’s bombings ostensibly targeted Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil); in fact, the strikes were aimed at moderate rebels and civilians – part of a plan to take out any opposition to their client, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

[…]This all comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s drawing of a “red line” regarding the use of chemical weapons, only to back down when the Assad regime – by most accounts – used them.

Weakness invites provocation, and – never one to miss an opportunity to outmanoeuvre Mr Obama – Mr Putin provided a self-serving opportunity that would also allow the president to save face: Moscow would push Syria to put their chemical weapons under international control.

[…]It’s also important to note that in the wake of the red line being trampled, Russia invaded Crimea. President Obama’s legacy may be mixed, but one thing is for sure: Vladimir Putin is much more powerful and provocative than he was before Mr Obama took office, and Russia has only expanded its sphere of influence.

[…]For those paying attention, Mr Obama’s foreign policy world-view has failed.

Russia is our enemy, and they are trying to undermine us everywhere they can. Obama is meeting this challenge with the typical weakness he has shown in negotiations and stand-offs since he went on his Worldwide Bow Down To Dictators tour. His priorities seem to be to cut military spending and impose political correctness on the armed services. His latest great achievement in that regard is to nominate a gay civilian who has never served in the military to be head of the entire U.S. Army. That’s what he is most concerned about, political correctness. Not national security and not foreign policy.

Hillary Clinton walks out of press conference when questioned about e-mail server

What difference does national security make?
What difference does national security make?

This is from The Hill.


Hillary Clinton dismissed the controversy surrounding her private email server and defended her conduct as legal during a press conference Tuesday in Las Vegas.

A visibly aggravated Clinton repeatedly insisted that she had done nothing wrong and seemed frustrated by questions about the issue.

[…]Asked if the server, which has been turned over to the Department of Justice, had been wiped clean, Clinton initially shrugged and later joked: “Like with a cloth or something?”

“I don’t know how it works digitally at all,” she added.

With a cloth or something? That’s the contempt she has for those who try to get the truth and hold her accountable. That’s what she would be like as President – “how dare you judge me, peasants?”

Although Clinton said that no material on her e-mail server was classified… well, let the Washington Times explain:

More than 300 of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails — or 5.1 percent of those processed so far — have been flagged for potential secret information, the State Department reported to a federal court Monday as the political furor continued to grow for the Democratic presidential candidate and her aides.

[…]Mrs. Clinton has insisted that she never sent any classified information from her account at all and that none of the messages she received had information that was marked classified at the time — though some of it has since been designated.

[…]Internal watchdogs have contradicted Mrs. Clinton’s account, saying messages clearly contained classified information, even if it wasn’t marked as such, and should have been kept more secure than on her own server.

These are the e-mails that Clinton insists are her “personal business”. You know, recipes, Yoga, pictures of Chelsea’s weddings… nothing classified. Move along, nothing to see here.

The UK Daily Mail got a world exclusive scoop yesterday. Doing the journalism that the left-wing United States media won’t do.


The IT company Hilary Clinton chose to maintain her private email account was run from a loft apartment and its servers were housed in the bathroom closet, Daily Mail Online can reveal.

Daily Mail Online tracked down ex-employees of Platte River Networks in Denver, Colorado, who revealed the outfit’s strong links to the Democratic Party but expressed shock that the 2016 presidential candidate chose the small private company for such a sensitive job.

[…]It will be the small scale of the firm and its own home-made arrangements which will raise the most significant questions over security and over what checks Clinton’s aides made about how suitable it was for dealing with what new transpires to be classified material.

The article says that the firm did not even have an alarm.

So… the entire national security of the nation… was being managed by a company that ran out of a loft apartment… with servers in a bathroom closet? That’s really secure and great disaster recovery, too.  Is that a good way to safeguard national security secrets? There is a reason why government employees have to use secure servers that are disaster-resistant, encrypted, and so on. This was not a casual mistake by Clinton – she went out of her way to make sure that what she wrote in her e-mails would never be discovered and used against her.

A former CIA analyst explains what should happen to her in the Washington Examiner:

If Hillary Clinton allowed classified information onto her private server or personal phone, she should be disqualified from becoming president, former CIA spy Bob Baer said Saturday.

Baer, a former CIA officer and commentator on national security issues, said that sending or receiving top secret information is a “transgression that I don’t think the president of the United States should be allowed to have committed.”

In an interview with CNN International, Baer claimed that the markings on emails believed to have crossed the private server Clinton maintained as secretary of state represented the highest levels of secrecy in the government.

“You don’t get any more secret than that,” he said.

“Even Snowden didn’t get into that,” Baer said. “If this in fact was on a private server, you and I would get fired and possibly jailed. This could be a felony.”

Baer said that when he was on assignment, he wasn’t allowed to receive messages at that level of classification, and that putting it on a private server or handheld device was a major mistake.

“If this was on her server and it got into her smartphone, there’s a big problem there,” he claimed. “Seriously, if I had sent a document like this over the open Internet, I’d get fired the same day — escorted to the door, and gone for good, and probably charged with mishandling classified information.”

She’s running for the White House, but her lousy judgment could land her in the Big House. Unforgiveable.