Posted tagged ‘Obama and US military’

American Soldiers Died in Niger Because of Obama

October 23, 2017

American Soldiers Died in Niger Because of Obama, Gatestone Institute, Daniel Greenfield, October 23, 2017

Of all the accusations hurled at President Trump, a lack of aggressiveness isn’t one of them. It isn’t his policy to deploy soldiers without a direct combat mission. That’s the opposite of his policy.

But Obama wanted to avoid triggering Islamic terrorists by fighting them too aggressively. And being in a war zone without a combat role provided the anti-war politician with plausible deniability.

American forces in Niger were there providing “advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations”. “Advise and Assist” missions were a staple of Obama era counterterrorism. Embedding American troops within local forces that may be unreliable or compromised carries obvious risks. But the Obama doctrine put public relations ahead of the lives of American soldiers. That doctrine cost countless lives in Afghanistan. And now it may have cost four more American lives in Niger.

If you want to look for the bullet that killed those men, look no further than Obama’s Cairo speech. 

Their deaths should be a reminder that appeasing Islamists always ends in war and death. If the Democrats don’t want war and death, they should end their backing for Islamists and empower our soldiers to defend themselves. 

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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson has come up with a new gimmick for getting invited on CNN. After exploiting the death of one soldier killed in an attack in Niger, she decided that if exploiting one soldier made her famous, exploiting the deaths of all the soldiers would make her even more famous.

Wilson has taken to calling the attack, “Mr. Trump’s Benghazi.” And she’s close. American soldiers died in Niger for the same reasons that Americans died in Benghazi. Both were fallout from the Arab Spring.

It wasn’t President Trump who deployed our soldiers to Niger. That was Obama’s doing. 

Congresswoman Wilson complained that they, “didn’t have appropriate weapons where they were” and that “they had trucks that were not armored trucks.” 

She is welcome to take up those objections with Obama. 

President Trump has been loudly criticized by Democrats for being too aggressive. It wasn’t his policy to have soldiers in Niger without a direct combat role.  It was Obama’s policy to put American soldiers in harm’s way without going on the offensive. And not just in Niger. American soldiers in Iraq and Syria were put in the same strange situation of being deployed in a war zone without a combat mission.

Except to defend themselves.

Or as Obama put it, “The recently deployed forces have deployed with weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security.”

They were supposed to be playing defense, not offense.

Of all the accusations hurled at President Trump, a lack of aggressiveness isn’t one of them. It isn’t his policy to deploy soldiers without a direct combat mission. That’s the opposite of his policy.

But Obama wanted to avoid triggering Islamic terrorists by fighting them too aggressively. And being in a war zone without a combat role provided the anti-war politician with plausible deniability.

Obama could take credit for ending all the wars (he officially ended the Iraq War twice even before the rise of ISIS) while still keeping soldiers deployed in war zones. But soldiers in a war zone without an official combat role are far more vulnerable and more likely to be underequipped for a firefight.

American forces in Niger were there providing “advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations”. “Advise and Assist” missions were a staple of Obama era counterterrorism. Embedding American troops within local forces that may be unreliable or compromised carries obvious risks. But the Obama doctrine put public relations ahead of the lives of American soldiers. That doctrine cost countless lives in Afghanistan. And now it may have cost four more American lives in Niger.

The deaths in Niger also had deeper origins in Obama’s pro-Islamist policies and alliances.

Our forces were reportedly targeting the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. ISGS, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, is another Arab Spring baby. Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui, its leader, had formerly served as the spokesman for the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) which was a splinter group of Al Qaeda. MUJAO was one of the Jihadist movements empowered by Obama’s illegal invasion of Libya. In the wake of the Libyan disaster, Jihadists seized control of large parts of Mali.

The French took the lead in fighting the Islamist forces. Obama led from behind by deploying American personnel to support the French effort. And that’s still the case. In Niger, we’re there to assist the larger French force. And so when our soldiers came under fire, they had to rely on the French for air support and evacuation. Those are the consequences of Obama ‘leading from behind’.

Our forces were outnumbered. French air support proved unable to offer useful help, but did succeed in evacuating the survivors. And the ambush raises questions about whether ISGS got lucky, or whether it was a setup. The Democrats suddenly seem very eager to find out exactly what happened, but whatever happened was due to policies and programs put into place by their own leader.

Obama’s Arab Spring regime change project and the illegal Libyan regime change operation that followed unleashed regional Islamist aspirations. Mali nearly fell because of Libya. American soldiers in Niger were killed by Islamist terrorists from a group led by the spokesman for that invasion.

But it’s not just about ISGS. One reason we’re in Niger is because we can’t be in Nigeria.

Boko Haram’s Jihadists have killed thousands of Christians in Nigeria. While the genocide continued, Obama officials worked hard to obstruct any effort to name Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization. Only when the mass kidnapping of girls led to the #BringBackOurGirls awareness campaign, did some of the more overt obstructionism by Obama and his political cronies stop. But it certainly didn’t end.

Obama Inc. repeatedly hectored Nigeria for being too tough on Boko Haram. It refused to waive the Leahy amendment which meant that the United States (and even Israel) couldn’t sell weapons to Nigeria and had a great deal of difficulty in training Nigerian forces. While we couldn’t be in Nigeria because its soldiers insisted on killing Boko Haram terrorists instead of locking them up in a Cuban resort and supplying them with all the Harry Potter novels they could want, we could be in Niger.

And so we’re in Niger.

The Nigerien (as opposed to Nigerian) military hadn’t rubbed Obama the wrong way. And so the American presence in Niger grew. We now have some 800 soldiers there and a sizable drone base.

Deploying large numbers of personnel into a terror zone without a plan to take the fight to the enemy is a bad idea. When the Nigerien forces came under attack by as many as fifty fighters with RPGs and heavy machine guns, our soldiers were left exposed, with no one to rely on except the French. They were there officially for training and surveillance, but they were on the front lines instead.

Congresswoman Wilson and other Democrats would like to blame President Trump for the deaths in Niger. But the trouble in Niger has Obama’s fingerprints all over it from the Arab Spring to the “Advice and Assist” missions that aren’t technically combat missions, but often incorporate combat anyway.

The ambiguity was there to cover Obama’s fundament. It’s time to scrap it along with the rest of his policies. The Arab Spring genie may be hard to put back in the box and we need to seriously think about what we’re doing in places like Niger and whether we have a plan to win that isn’t dependent on the locals. Obama didn’t. Instead his counterterrorism policy marked time. From Africa to Afghanistan, it wasn’t about victory, but an inoffensive containment. And that meant not being too aggressive.

If we are going to have forces in Niger or any other war zone, they should have air support and the widest latitude for defending themselves. President Trump’s policies didn’t kill four Americans in Niger. Obama’s appeasement of Islamists and the anti-war left exposed American soldiers to harm.

If you want to look for the bullet that killed those men, look no further than Obama’s Cairo speech.

Their deaths should be a reminder that appeasing Islamists always ends in war and death. If the Democrats don’t want war and death, they should end their backing for Islamists and empower our soldiers to defend themselves.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Trump Is Not An Interventionist Commander In Chief

April 16, 2017

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Trump Is Not An Interventionist Commander In Chief, Fox News via YouTube, April 16, 2017

 

Dr. Jasser participates in a panel discussion about the state of the Middle East & ISIS

February 25, 2017

Dr. Jasser participates in a panel discussion about the state of the Middle East & ISIS, AIFD via YouTube, February 24, 2017

(It’s an about thirty-five minute long video about Middle East related topics, including America’s relations with Russia, Islamist terrorism, Islamist nations, the clash between Judeo-Christian and Islamist cultures and what the Trump administration can and should do. — DM)

 

Brutal ISIS Executions, Military Weakness, and A New Refugee Crisis

October 4, 2016

Brutal ISIS Executions, Military Weakness, and A New Refugee Crisis, Counter Jihad, October 4, 2016

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 Increasingly Russia and their Iranian allies are looking likely to dominate the northern Middle East from Afghanistan to the Levant.  This President has been badly outmaneuvered.  The next President will have to decide how much he or she is willing to risk in order to try to deal with the feeding of “jihadism… by war and state failure.”

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The Islamic State (ISIS) has delivered a new propaganda video showing another gruesome mass execution of fellow Muslims.  The group proclaims that the video should serve as a warning to any Muslims thinking of coming to join any of the rebel armies fighting against them in the conflict.  Amid Nazi salutes, ISIS soldiers clad in stolen American-made 3 color DCU uniforms promised to fight the “apostates” whom they painted as being on the same side as the Americans.

Yet the Americans have done but little to support any allies in the region.  As the Economist notes, US President Barack Obama has kept American forces largely out of the conflict except in an advisory role.  This is because, they explain, he views an American intervention as likely to cause more harm than good.  His policy has been throughout “cool,” “rational,” and “wrong.”

As America has pulled back, others have stepped in—geopolitics abhors a vacuum. Islamic State (IS) has taken over swathes of Syria and Iraq. A new generation of jihadists has been inspired to fight in Syria or attack the West. Turkey, rocked by Kurdish and jihadist violence (and a failed coup), has joined the fight in Syria. Jordan and Lebanon, bursting with refugees, fear they will be sucked in. The exodus of Syrians strengthens Europe’s xenophobic populists and endangers the European Union. A belligerent Russia feels emboldened….

None of this is in America’s interest. Being cool and calculating is not much use if everybody else thinks you are being weak. Even if America cannot fix Syria, it could have helped limit the damage, alleviate suffering and reduce the appeal of jihadism…. Mr Obama says that Mr Assad eventually must go, but has never willed the means to achieve that end. (Some rebel groups receive CIA weapons, but that is about it.)… [J]ihadism is fed by war and state failure: without a broader power-sharing agreement in Syria and Iraq any victory against IS will be short-lived; other jihadists will take its place.

Russia has been building pressure on the Obama administration in other ways.  Since the suspending of talks between the US and Russia, the Putin administration has announced major nuclear war games that will move tens of millions of people to civil defense shelters on very short notice.  They have suspended nuclear arms deals with the United States involving plutonium cleanup, suggesting that they fear the US will cheat.  The Russians have also deployed one of their advanced missile systems outside of their homeland for the first time.  The deployment was made without comment, but as one American official noted wryly, ““Nusra doesn’t have an air force do they?”  Al Nusra Front is an al Qaeda linked organization that has been sometimes allied with, but more often at war with, the Islamic State.

All of this means that America’s window to take a more aggressive approach may be closing, if it has not already closed.  Increasingly Russia and their Iranian allies are looking likely to dominate the northern Middle East from Afghanistan to the Levant.  This President has been badly outmaneuvered.  The next President will have to decide how much he or she is willing to risk in order to try to deal with the feeding of “jihadism… by war and state failure.”

The threat is very real, as estimates are that the assault on Mosul might produce another million refugees headed for Europe and America, orperhaps half again that many.  The failure to take a more aggressive approach may end up bringing a flood tide of human suffering and terror.

Obama backtracks on Afghanistan withdrawal, cites ‘precarious’ security situation

July 8, 2016

Obama backtracks on Afghanistan withdrawal, cites ‘precarious’ security situation, Long War Journal, , July 7, 2016

President Barack Obama called the security environment in Afghanistan “precarious” and said today he will keep more troops on the ground in Afghanistan than previously planned. Obama repeatedly promised to end the US mission in Afghanistan before the end of his administration in 2017, but a worsening security situation stemming from previous ill-timed reductions in force and a resilient Taliban proved that to be impossible.

“Instead of going down to 5,500 troops by the end of this year, the United States will maintain approximately 8,400 troops in Afghanistan into next year, through the end of my administration,” Obama said in a briefing at the White House.

Despite admitting the deteriorating conditions, Obama announced he will reduce the number of troops in the country by 1,400 by the end of 2016. Obama did not explain how withdrawing an additional 1,400 US forces this year will aid in the fight against the Taliban and its allies. The Taliban has regained ground in the strategic province of Helmand and other areas in spite of direct US military support to Afghan forces.

Obama admitted that the Taliban has continued to wage an effective insurgency and has taken control of territory.

“The Taliban remains a threat,” Obama said. “They’ve gained ground in some places.”

There are currently 9,800 troops in country conducting an “advise and assist” mission to Afghan forces as well as counterterrorism operations. Those two missions will not change, he stated.

The admission that security in Afghanistan is worsening is a dramatic shift by the Obama administration. Previously the administration maintained that Afghan forces were capable of sustaining combat operations with minimal or no US assistance.

However, this view flew in the face of the realities on the ground. The Taliban waited out the US “surge” that targeted their bastions in the south, and began attacking vulnerable Afghan forces when US troops began their withdrawal. By 2014, the Taliban gained control of a handful of far-flung districts while maintaining a guerrilla campaign throughout the country.

By the summer of 2015, the Afghan government admitted that four districts were under Taliban control. A study by The Long War Journal indicated that by the beginning of October 2015, the Taliban controlled 29 districts and contested another 36.

The Afghan government, which has notoriously underestimated the threat posed by the Taliban and areas under the jihadist group’s control, admitted in late June 2015 that nine district were now controlled by the Taliban and another 40 are heavily contested.The Long War Journal estimated that the Taliban controls 39 districts and contest another 43.

Perhaps the most worrisome indicator of deteriorating security in Afghanistan is the discovery of al Qaeda training camps in the country. Al Qaeda operated two large scale training camps, including a large facility, in the Shorabak district in Kandahar for more than a year before they were discovered by US forces. One of the camps occupied an area of 30 square miles and was well provisioned with weapons, ammunition, communications gear, and other equipment. In October 2015, a large US military strike force took four days to clear the two al Qaeda camps in Shorabak. More than 150 al Qaeda fighters are thought to have been killed during the operation.

The US military only discovered the location of the two camps in Shorabak after raiding another in Paktika province in July 2015. Abu Khalil al Sudani, one of al Qaeda’s most senior figures, is thought to have been killed during that raid. Al Qaeda obviously assessed the situation in Paktika as being safe enough to place one of their top leaders there.

The Shorabak raids shocked the US military and intelligence and forced them to revised its long-held estimate of 50 to 100 al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan upwards to 300 in country. For more than six years, The Long War Journal has warned that official estimate of al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan is erroneous, and the jihadist group remains a significant threat to this day. [See LWJ report, US military admits al Qaeda is stronger in Afghanistan than previously estimated.]

Humor | Obama touts legacy of renaming wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying he would close Gitmo

June 5, 2016

Obama touts legacy of renaming wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying he would close Gitmo, Duffel Blog, June 5, 2016

Obama soldier

WASHINGTON — President Obama sought on Monday to reshape the controversy over the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fully operational Guantanamo Bay prison by asking the American people to remember that he tried really hard.

Speaking at an event for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Obama strongly touted his legacy as the only president to semantically end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and reminded the American people that he has been talking serious about closing Guantanamo Bay, “since like, the 2008 election.”

When pressed to explain the current military operations against ISIS in Iraq and a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama responded with “I said I ended the wars didn’t I? There’s no more war. What’s going on now is more like ‘kinetic foreign advising.’”

Like all presidents before him, Obama has sought to brand and message his legacy as one in line with the sweeping campaign promises he staked his candidacy on.

The Obama administration’s reluctance to call the actions in Iraq against ISIS which have claimed the lives of three US serviceman “combat operations” has angered veterans and the other dozen or so Americans who pay attention to the nation’s continuing wars.

“The third time we took indirect and sniper fire, I asked my squad leader if we’d get our CIBs (Combat Infantryman Badge) yet,” said Army Pvt. Anthony Dunn, “but he just shrugged and said the commander was going to see if we could get a pizza night in the DFAC.”

The establishment of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in January 2002 has long been a political lightning rod, made especially so following then-Sen. Obama’s pledge to close the facility beginning with his campaigning in 2007.

“Hey, this stuff is hard,” Obama said. “But every prisoner we detain on the battlefield deserves a fair trial. Just not the ones on the wrong end of a Predator drone.”

“I mean, am I right or am I right?” the president added, after high-fiving Vice President Joe Biden.

 

Enemies, Foreign and Domestic

May 30, 2016

Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, Front Page MagazineMark Tapson, May 30, 2016

Enemies

Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: A SEAL’s Story is a new book by former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie. Higbie was on the Navy SEAL assault team that in the summer of 2007 captured the most wanted man in the Middle East (apart from Osama bin Laden) – Ahmed Hashim Abd Al-Isawi, known as the Butcher of Fallujah. But afterward, Higbie and others in his unit were charged with prisoner abuse when Al-Isawi alleged that they had bloodied his lip.

Suddenly, the “mission accomplished” became a much more challenging ordeal as Higbie et al were threatened with courts-martial over supposedly roughing up a ruthless terrorist. When he went public with his account of what happened, the Navy pushed back hard to save face and protect careers. But Higbie pushed back harder.

Higbie, also the author of Battle on the Home Front: A Navy SEAL’s Mission to Save the American Dream, became a SEAL in 2003 and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is now a political commentator in national media including the Fox News Channel, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Daily Caller, and Breibart. He graciously agreed to answer a few questions for FrontPage Mag about his lates book, Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.

Mark Tapson:         About the mission to capture and extract this high-value target, the Butcher of Fallujah. You and your unit accomplished the mission, handed him over, and all seemed good – but then what happened afterward?

Carl Higbie: After turning over custody to the Master at Arms (MP), the MP admittedly left his post. During this time the prisoner bit his lip (as testified by an oral surgeon) and spit blood on his clothing. Out of fear for his own career, the MP concocted a story that he saw many of us abuse the prisoner. This story was fabricated, as was apparent from his numerous changes in his official statement.

MT:     The accusation should have been cleared up quickly, but instead, the Navy did its best to break you and the other suspects down and get confessions out of you. Tell us what happened.

CH:     Initially we were investigated by NCIS and their investigation made the recommendation to not charge us. It was our Commanding officer along with General Cleveland that decided to proceed despite the facts. Because of the lack of evidence, they wanted to proceed “general’s mast” where there is no need for evidence and a punishment can be issued arbitrarily. They were doing to his to save face and “make an example” out of us.

We all requested a courts-martial so we would have a fair trial and be able to present evidence in our favor. The command tried to talk us out of this because they knew they would lose. They separated us and threatened us with all kinds of punishments, but we held strong and forced the courts-martial.

MT:     Why do you think this guy made such a serious accusation about some of his fellow soldiers, and why do you think the higher-ups weren’t more supportive of the accused, especially considering that the so-called victim was a terrorist?

CH:     The higher-ups were afraid of simple allegations, how that would affect their careers. They lost sight of the mission and their duty to their men. They put politically correct public image in front of their oath. They had us pegged for guilty from day one despite ALL the evidence. So much for “innocent until proven guilty.”

MT:     What’s your opinion of the Rules of Engagement our warriors were bound by which were so strict that merely bloodying a terrorist’s nose could get you court-martialed? Do you think those ROE are proper or are they hindering our men in the field and perhaps even endangering them?

CH:     Rules of engagement are different from guidelines for treating prisoners. I think the Rules of Engagement are atrocious. You cannot have one side playing by a set of rules that does not apply to the other side. War is not a moral endeavor, it is people killing each other; therefore you must be willing to be as ruthless as your enemy.

As for prisoner handling, we should never have stood any discipline after NCIS cleared us and recommended not going forward. This is what investigations are for and they should not be overstepped by a commander who has no knowledge of the situation. Moreover, who cares if a terrorist that we had legal authority to kill had a bloody lip?

MT:     After you were eventually cleared, you wrote a book – as a private citizen, not as a SEAL – called Battle on the Homefront based on your experiences, in which you complained about various ways in which Americans are failing to live up to our country’s own exceptionalism. But the Navy brass gave your manuscript the runaround and did their best to suppress publication. Why do you believe they did that, particularly since many of them privately agreed with what you wrote?

CH:     I spent almost two years, 24 times the length of time the DOD has allowed by their own standards for the review. At every corner, they stonewalled me, refusing even to conduct a review. I had been consulting an attorney throughout the process who was dumbfounded, as we had continuously jumped through hoops to accommodate their ever-changing requirements.

The book was controversial and no one wanted to review it because they were concerned about how it would affect their careers if they were the ones with the approval stamp on it. The military spent more resources trying to bury it than it would have taken to conduct the review. After a review from NCIS on security, and under advice from my attorney, we published without command approval since they had failed to comply with their own rules.

MT:     Since leaving the Navy, you’ve pursued a path as a political commentator in the media. Is that another way you feel you can best serve your country? Do you have political ambitions in the future as well? Tell us about what you’re doing to help reinvigorate the American Dream.

CH:     I have pursued the political route because I believe that to be the root of the problem today. I am unsure whether I will run again but I am heavily involved with this presidential race and many other races as well. If we want to fix this nation we have to start at the top.