U.S. intervention in Libya and Egypt, undermining governments that were no threat to American interests, led to Islamic extremists taking over in Egypt and terrorist chaos in Libya, where the American ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans.
[…]In Europe, as in the Middle East, our foreign policy during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state was to undermine our friends and cater to our enemies.
The famous “reset” in our foreign policy with Russia began with the Obama administration reneging on a pre-existing American commitment to supply defensive technology to shield Poland and the Czech Republic from missile attacks.
This left both countries vulnerable to pressures and threats from Russia — and left other countries elsewhere wondering how much they could rely on American promises.
Even after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Obama administration refused to let the Ukrainians have weapons with which to defend themselves.
[…][Obama and Clinton] both opposed the military “surge” in Iraq, under General David Petraeus, that defeated the terrorists there.
Even after the surge succeeded, Hillary Clinton was among those who fiercely denied initially that it had succeeded, and sought to discredit Gen. Petraeus, though eventually the evidence of the surge’s success became undeniable, even among those who had opposed it.
The truly historic catastrophe of American foreign policy — not only failing to stop Iran from going nuclear, but making it more difficult for Israel to stop them — was also something that happened on Hillary Clinton’s watch as secretary of state.
What the administration’s protracted and repeatedly extended negotiations with Iran accomplished was to allow Iran time to multiply, bury and reinforce its nuclear facilities, to the point where it was uncertain whether Israel still had the military capacity to destroy those facilities.
There are no offsetting foreign policy triumphs under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Syria, China and North Korea are other scenes of similar setbacks.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, news has now come out that the Benghazi investigation has managed to get hold of e-mails that Hillary Clinton sent to her non-State-Department-employee friend Sidney Blumenthal. They did NOT get the e-mails from Hillary, like they were supposed to. They got them from Sidney Blumenthal. Why didn’t Hillary hand over those work-related e-mails? You can read about that story in the Washington Times.
And more – Clinton approved of the release of one of the Benghazi terrorist attack suspects in 2012. She assured conservative Congressman Tom Cotton that the Benghazi suspect would be monitored by the Tunisians, so that he could do us no more harm. Well, he ended up in Mosul, Iraq, and was just killed by an airstrike in June 2015. You can read more about that story in The Weekly Standard.
Seriously… I would think that the Libya debacle alone would be enough to sink Hillary’s presidential hopes. When you add the Russian reset, Benghazi YouTube alibi, Libya, Egypt, Syria, the Clinton Foundation scandal, and so many other failures and mistakes, we’d be better off hiring a clown to be President than putting her in charge. She just isn’t qualified to the job. She just doesn’t take national security and foreign policy seriously. She is only interested in one thing: getting elected.
President Obama is “living in a dream world” if he believes the U.S. is “stopping ISIL’s advance” in Iraq and Syria, says former Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama said: “In Iraq and Syria, American leadership — including our military power — is stopping ISIL’s advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.”
[…]”I think the ISIS threat is growing,” Bolton continued. “They have consolidated control over the territory. They have seized, going back a year now, a year since they took Fallujah, seven months since they took Mosul. And they see weakness on the American side. They think it’s winning support among colleagues in the region.”
Bolton disagreed with Obama’s assertion that the U.S.-led coalition is stopping ISIL’s advance with air strikes.
“No,” he said. “The president is living in a dream world. The fact is, we have no effective way of containing ISIS.”
Bolton said terrorist groups in North Africa, the Middle East, and as far away as Afghanistan and Pakistan are beginning to declare loyalty to ISIS.
“I think moderate Arab regimes in the region, the king of Jordan, the oil-producing monarchies of the Iranians Peninsula, are in fear of what ISIS will do. The president’s notion that we have got opportunities is belied by the continued Iranian progress towards a deliverable nuclear weapons capability. The Middle East is descending into chaos and we are watching.”
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told MSNBC on Wednesday morning that Obama “is living in a make-believe world when it comes to our national security.”
Cotton, like Bolton, disagrees that the U.S.-led coalition is stopping ISIS/ISIL’s advance: “That’s simply not the case,” Cotton told “Morning Joe.” “We may have arrested their progress somewhat in Iraq, but you don’t win the war on defense — you win on offense.”
Cotton also mentioned Yemen, cited by Obama just four months ago as an example of a successful counter-terrorism strategy. But Yemen’s government is now dealing with an apparently successful coup attempt.
Powerline blog describes a few more crises Obama failed to speak about accurately. We have problems with Iran continuing their progress towards nuclear weapons. Russia has occupied Crimea and continues to attack targets in Ukraine using regular Russian troops. In Yemen, Shia rebels are attempting a coup against the president, and the U.S. Navy is heading there to evacuate the U.S. embassy if necessary.
Meanwhile, Obama assures us that the real threat we should be worried about is global warming.
Not radical Muslim terrorism, not an unsecured border, not an ever-growing federal debt that now exceeds $18 trillion, not the fact that 109 million live in households on federal welfare programs. These are not the greatest threats facing us today.
“No challenge–no challenge–poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” President Obama declared in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.
Hundreds of Iraqi men, women and children crammed into vehicles have fled their homes, fearing clashes, kidnapping and rape after Islamic militants seized large swaths of northern Iraq.
The families and fleeing soldiers who arrived Thursday at a checkpoint at the northern frontier of this largely autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq were among some half-million people who have fled their homes since Monday, according to a U.N. estimate.
Workers were busily extending the Khazer checkpoint in the frontier area known as Kalak, where displaced women hungrily munched on sandwiches distributed by aid workers and soldiers rushed to process people.
The exodus began after fighters of the al-Qaida breakaway group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, seized the northern city of Mosul in a stunning assault Monday. Since then, the militants have moved southward toward the capital, Baghdad, in the biggest crisis to face Iraq in years.
“Masked men came to our house and they threatened us: ‘We will get to you.’ So we fled,” said Abed, a laborer who abandoned his home on the edge of Mosul Thursday. “They kidnapped other people. They took away some people for interrogation.”
The young man said rumors were quickly spreading that Islamic State fighters — as well as masked bandits taking advantage of the chaos — were seizing young women for rape or forced marriage.
The Sunni insurgents’ lightning offensive in the past three days has sparked the biggest crisis Iraq has faced since it plunged into sectarian violence following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
ISIS overran Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein, on Wednesday. But early Thursday government forces fought back, said Ali Muhammad, an official in Sunni-dominated Salah Al Din province, where the city is located.
[…]The group aims to set up a state in a continuous stretch of territory from Sunni-dominated Anbar province in Iraq to Raqqa province in northeast Syria. Since capturing Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, on Tuesday it has advanced south along the Tigris River toward Baghdad.
In another indication of the increasingly sectarian contours of Iraq’s turmoil, ISIS on Thursday issued a threat against Baghdad as well as Karbala and Najaf. The latter two cities, along with Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, are considered sacred to Shiites, who make up 60% of Iraq’s population.
[…]U.S.-armed and trained Iraqi security forces put up almost no fight throughout the militants’ rout, witnesses said.
Who is to blame for this? Did it all happen by accident?
The takeover of large swathes of Iraq by Islamist militants should be seen as a damning indictment of Obama’s ill-judged decision to abandon the country to its fate so early in his presidency.
Throughout his tenure at the White House Mr Obama has made much political capital out of his claim to be an anti-war president: the man who brought America’s decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan to an end.
But in his desperation to distance himself from the Bush administration, Mr Obama made no real effort to understand the implications of authorising a wholesale American withdrawal from Iraq three years ago.
There were many Americans – including many prominent Democrats – who took the view that, after the terrible cost that the US had paid for ridding the country of Saddam Hussein and establishing Iraq’s first democratic constitution, the White House owed it to the American people to make sure Iraq continued to develop as a functioning democratic state.
But for that to happen, Washington needed to make a commitment to maintain a residual military presence in Baghdad to ensure that Nouri al-Maliki’s government did not renege on his commitment to reconcile his political differences with the country’s Kurdish and Sunni minorities.
But after Mr Obama lost patience with Mr al-Maliki, and ordered a unilateral withdrawal of American forces three years ago, Mr al-Maliki felt he was no longer under any obligation to honour his commitments. Instead, he cultivated deeper ties with neighbouring Iran, thereby further inflaming Sunni tribal leaders who felt increasingly disfranchised in post-Saddam Iraq.
The result is the current crisis, which has seen the radical Islamist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), seize control of large areas of the country, including Mosul – the country’s second largest city – and Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit.
For a more pessimistic commentary on these events, see this Investors Business Daily editorial, which tries to predict where this will all end. It’s not a good prediction, if you like freedom and peace.
Germany has agreed to sell Israel two destroyers in exchange for one billion euros, AFP reported on Saturday, citing a report in German daily Bild.
According to the report, the torpedo-laden destroyers are intended to provide protection for Israel’s natural gas installations.
I suspect that the primary role of these vessels will be to intercept surface-to-surface missiles and air-to-surface missiles. Israel’s submarine force does not have this capability – they are primarily built for missile strike capability. Now why do you think that Israel is choosing to equip naval vessels with these capabilities? It’s to convey a clear message to her enemies: “even if you are able to strike our mainland and destroy our land-based missile defense system (Iron Dome) we will still have a naval-based air defense capability”.
This is a great deterrent against Israel’s enemies. It’s a second layer of defense to Israel’s Iron Dome system, which is tested and ready to shoot down incoming missiles. In addition to this missile-defense capability, these DDGs also offer surface-to-surface strike capability, but I can’t say what that would be without knowing what model they got. My suspicion is that they are older FFG Bremen class, which are being decommissioned and replaced by newer models. But they could also be FFG Brandenburg class, which are newer, but also scheduled for upgrades already. I wouldn’t call either of those “destroyers” though – they displace only about 3,600 tonnes each.
So could they be these 5,800 tonne vessels?
Germany doesn’t have any real destroyers, although their new FFG Saschen class are as big as destroyers. If Israel somehow managed to get Saschen class FFGs, then I would really be thrilled and impressed. Those things are awesome and they excel at the air defense role. I noticed that the “file photos” being used in news releases were of FFG Saschen class vessels. But I just can’t believe that, it would be so awesome. That would explain why they are being called “destroyers” in the press stories. One can hope! If anyone knows, please tell me.
UPDATE: I did get some feedback through a friend of a friend who is an expert in missile defense, and here is his response:
Good for Israel. The article is mainly correct. I would say it is wrong on three points. One, Iron Dome will not assist in defending against TBMs or longer range missiles…Israel has other systems for that. Two, the DDGs are not meant to provide BMD if Iron Dome is destroyed. Sea based BMD can allow layered defense against ballistic missiles. Ballistic missiles require multiple interceptors to give a high probability of kill. Three, that being said, none of the Frigates mentioned possess a BMD cape. The Netherlands is working on a BMD cape for a ship they use that is similar to the Saschen class. The Dutch however, have a seafaring history and a navy that is more advanced than the Deutsch.
BMD means Ballistic Missile Defense, and TBM means Tactical Ballistic Missile.
Earlier this year, a significant deal between Germany and the Israeli security establishment was completed, as the Germans handed a fifth Dolphin-class submarine to Israel. The handover was marked in an official ceremony in Germany’s city of Kiel.
The vessel is considered one of the most advanced submarines in the world and is the most expensive war vessel the Defense Ministry has procured for the IDF. The diesel-powered submarines are widely regarded as an Israeli vanguard against foes like Iran. In total, Israel has purchased six Dolphin submarines from Germany.
There are two kinds of submarines that are used today: attack submarines, which are armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, and ballistic missile submarines, which are armed with heavier missiles that can travel further. Although the SSK Dolphin class is an attack submarine on paper, my suspicion is that Israel will refit them to have long-range missile strike capability, including nuclear guided missiles. And in fact after doing a search, I found an article that confirmed my hopes.
Take a look at this article from NTI, a global security think tank based in Washington.
As previous conflicts involving Israel began with naval blockades, Israel views its submarine force as critical to national security. Israel’s submarines are also intended to exercise sea control over the Eastern Mediterranean and secure sea lines of communication; Israel is dependent on imports of grain, crude oil, and raw materials.  There has been consistent speculation that Israel’s submarines could be refitted to carry missiles armed with nuclear weapons in order for the country to maintain a survivable second-strike option. Acknowledging Israel’s lack of strategic depth, officials have asserted that only submarines can provide a secure weapons platform in the future. 
The arming of Israel’s submarines has received a great deal of attention. While HDW has stated that Israel’s Dolphin-class submarines were equipped with weapon systems similar to those installed on other diesel-electric submarines, various sources have alleged that upon their arrival in Israel, the submarines were modified, and fitted with cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.  The three initial Dolphin-class submarines were designed in accordance with Israeli demands, and include a “wet and dry” compartment for special operations, as well as four 650mm torpedo tubes, which could be used for Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs).  The German Defense Ministry has stated that these larger tubes were intended to fire Harpoons; upon delivery to Israel, liners were to be fitted to decrease the diameter of the tubes to accommodate the 533mm Harpoon containers. However, the Dolphin-class is equipped with six 533mm torpedo tubes as well, which are capable of launching Harpoons.  It seems possible, therefore, that the 650mm tubes might have been designed to accommodate indigenously built, long-range SLCMs.The German government has stated that it does not have information on whether Israel installed different equipment on the submarines after delivery, although former German officials have acknowledged that they assumed that Israel intended to equip the submarines with nuclear weapons. 
Some reports suggest that Israel has adapted Harpoon cruise missiles, which have a range of 130 kilometers, to carry an indigenously developed nuclear warhead and guidance system, though other experts argue that such modifications to a Harpoon missile are not feasible.  Others believe that Israel has developed an indigenous cruise missile with a range of 320 kilometers that could be a version of Rafael Armament Development Authority’s Popeye turbo cruise missile.  Still others believe that the missile may be a version of the Gabriel 4LR produced by Israel Aircraft Industries, which could be launched in 533mm torpedo tubes similar to the Harpoon.  Such speculation was further fueled by an unconfirmed test of a nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) in the Indian Ocean in 2000. Some reports claimed targets 1,500 kilometers away were hit.  Such a range, however, implies an entirely new type of missile.  In June 2002, former State Department and Pentagon officials confirmed that the U.S. Navy observed Israeli missile tests in the Indian Ocean in 2000, and that the Dolphin-class vessels have been fitted with nuclear-capable cruise missiles of a new design.  However, the Israeli Defense Forces have consistently denied any such missile tests. 
[…]The new boats will be equipped with 650mm torpedo tubes—again leading to much speculation that the Israelis intend to outfit the submarines with nuclear-armed cruise missiles.
These submarines are designed to protect Israel’s supply lines in the Mediterranean Sea, and also to give them retaliation capabilities in the event of a large-scale missile strike. Iran and her allies will have a tough time detecting these submarines and destroying them – the subs have an extremely quiet propulsion system and can operate submerged for up to a week. These six submarines are a deterrent against any nation that would try to attack Israel, because they know that there is no hope for them to destroy all of their strike capability in the initial strike against Israel’s land-based assets. Israel could also depend on ground-based missile launchers,some of which might be mobile, and their airborne strike platform.
This is an application of the principal of peace through strength – the stronger a nation’s military, the less likely they are to be attacked, and the more capable they are of protecting their allies. The article above notes that the Clinton administration (Democrats) refused to sell Israel Tomahawk cruise missiles, which have a very long range. That’s too bad. If I were in charge, I would sell those to Israel in a split-second.
It really is a terrible thing for the United States to be disarming thanks to Democrat policies, because all this does is encourage our enemies to strike us, and encourage our allies to abandon our alliances and ally with stronger nations. I hope that we are able to elect a Republican soon who will restore our lost military strength.