Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Incoherence Abounds

Apparently Obama did speak of international affairs at the recent G-7 international economic summit, but his remarks regarding economic matters, if he made any, are not receiving much in the way of press coverage.
I have already touched on his discussion of domestic policy, and today the media is focused on his remarks regarding military action in Ukraine and the Middle East.

In Ukraine, he claims that Putin’s resistance to the absorption of that nation, which borders directly on Russia, into the military alliance of NATO constitutes expansionism and an attempt to “reconstitute the glory of the Soviet Union.”  It was, of course, not expansionist for us to attempt to incorporate Ukraine into NATO.

As to Iraq and Syria, his discourse becomes even more unmoored from reality. He admits that we “have no complete strategy”  against the Islamic State, but that doesn’t prevent him for actively pursuing our incomplete strategy with increasing levels of activity. The “Obama Doctrine”  seems to be that if you don’t know what you are doing, you should definitely do more of it.

Pursuant to that, he is building a new US base in Anbar Province, which is mostly occupied by the Islamic State and is therefor an ideal place to put a US base, and is sending 400 more US troops to train Iraqi soldiers. He is doing this despite his admission in the same speech that we presently “have more training capacity than we have recruits.”  Obviously, in light of that, we need to increase our training capacity. (?)

His admission regarding training capacity has been confirmed by an anonymous (of course) “defense official,”  who said that our training base at Asad air base has not received a single recruit in as much as six weeks. That might have to do with the fact that the base is in Anbar Province and is entirely surrounded by Islamic State forces. We have some 300 Marines there, who are very much at risk, although they can certainly be airlifted out if need be.

That doesn’t mean that it makes any sense to leave them in such an exposed position, especially when they are serving no useful purpose. If they are attacked too rapidly for air evacuation, their blood will be on Obama’s hands.

Be that as it may, given that we have one training base in Anbar which is surrounded by the Islamic State and is not receiving recruits, why are we building and manning another training base in Anbar? A corollary to the Obama Doctrine seems to be “If what you are doing is not working, do more of it.”

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