Having worked in the field of national security in one form or another for 23 years, I’ve been trying to identify Mr. Obama’s grand plan for the security of the United States. As is the case in many other areas, the Obama Administration is clearly working with a set of unconventional rules. Here’s what I see so far:
1. Set up war rooms for everything but war. Is someone attacking our stimulus, health care or climate change plans? We need to respond NOW! And don’t pull any punches. What? Our commander in Afghanistan is asking for more help? That can wait.
2. Don’t have a strategy. Never mind that pesky Goldwater-Nichols Act and it’s requirement that the President publish a strategy within 150 days of taking office. Maintaining the security of America isn’t important enough to merit an actual plan. And we certainly don’t want our buddies at Kos and MoveOn thinking that national security is, you know, a priority.
3. Talk up failed diplomatic strategies and hope that opponents of those strategies will embrace the change. We can talk Tehran and Pyongyang into giving up their nukes, because we’re not Bush. Those poor, misunderstood fellows will listen to us. We’re led by a guy with a Peace Prize, after all.
4. Don’t do anything that will anger an authoritarian regime. Should we support the people of Honduras in their time of constituional crisis? Nope, Chavez and Ortega might get mad. Should we criticize Beijing on a “safe” liberal issue like human rights? Oh, no. You-know-Hu might not like it. And definitely don’t do anything that might make Vlad and Dmitry upset, we’re trying to reset things with them, you know.
5. Appease where necessary, even if it means throwing an ally under the bus. What makes those Israelis so darned special, anyway? So what if they’re the only tolerant democracy in a sea of religious facists and socialist dictators. Have you forgotten number 3 already? And never mind what Poland and the Czech Republic think. We’ve got to get this Reset Button working, now!
All joking aside, the way this administration is handling the national security issue is becoming a bigger deal every day. The message Muslim terrorists glean is the President wants out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and will do anything to get out that doesn’t look like surrender and retreat–even if the job is unfinished. The message rougue states and adversaries glean is that Obama will run his mouth but never reach for a stick. And the message allies glean, with my apologies to JFK, is that the Democrats will bear any criticism, break any deal, and sacrifice any friend to ensure the survival and success of it’s domestic political agenda.
In short, the Long War just got longer.