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Obama chooses politics over foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan

Written By | Nov 11, 2014

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, November 10, 2014 — The purpose of the federal government is to protect American citizens from foreign attack and invasion. Hence the most critical aspect of the job of President of the United States is his role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

With the title of commander-in-chief comes the responsibility of making decisions with the sole consideration being the protection of America’s vital national security interests, its citizens, and its military personnel. Anyone aspiring to hold the office of president must keenly appreciate this responsibility, and be willing to make decisions that may be politically unpopular in order to protect America.

Events in Iraq and Afghanistan and President Obama’s politically motivated reactions to those events further prove that Obama has chosen to deliberately prioritize politics and political optics above and beyond the protection of the vital national security interests of the nation, which our enemies recognize and may well take advantage of before Obama’s tenure is done.


In October of 2011, Obama announced that he would completely withdraw all American troops from Iraq before the end of that calendar year, to the dismay of many in the military community — but just in time for him to use this fulfillment of a campaign promise he made in 2008 for his stump speeches during the 2012 Presidential campaign.

While this strategy worked well for Obama politically, allowing him to perpetuate the lie that al Qaeda had been decimated, the politically motivated decision to withdraw from Iraq had the exact consequences that many in the military community predicted: It left a vacuum of power that the Iraqi military and government were unable to fill. This provided a grand opportunity for terrorist organizations to step in and take control, effectively eliminating the gains that America had made in that country since hostilities began more than a decade prior.

As part of this plan to withdraw from Iraq, Obama released dozens of enemy combatants. One of those combatants, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, was released in 2009.

Once released, Baghdadi quickly made his way up the ranks of al Qaeda but was ultimately kicked out of the terrorist group for being too extreme. He migrated to another terrorist organization, taking many of al Qaeda members with him and eventually rising to its leadership.

That group is “ISIS,” or the “Islamic State.” ISIS has an army of over 7,000 men and is rapidly growing.

ISIS is now the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world, having captured the Iraqi banking system and stolen over $500 million from them.

Additionally, ISIS is the most heavily armed terrorist organization the world has ever seen, having stolen enough American made weaponry from the Iraqi government to heavily arm its entire army.

Baghdadi’s last words to his captors before being freed were, “I will see you in New York.”

Obama, knowing that the American people are weary of involvement in Iraq refused to bomb ISIS military targets, even as ISIS slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians, and the Iraqi government and the American military advisors begged him to do so. He finally announced precision military strikes and humanitarian aid drops, but they are almost certainly too little, too late.

A president concerned first and foremost about American security interests would never have withdrawn in 2011 for political gain, and would have engaged our Air Force and destroyed ISIS’ military capability nine months ago, when ISIS was about to capture Fallujah.


In another politically motivated decision, Obama announced the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, another election year. This will result in the same resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan as has occurred in Iraq.

The death of a two-star Army general last summer and the factors that caused it show that Obama has chosen to sacrifice all the gains the American military has made in that country for political gain for the Democrat party.

The ongoing issues in Afghanistan, highlighted by the New York Post, show that the Obama Administration has lost control. The NY Post summarized the issues as follows:

Under pressure from President Obama, the military rushed to recruit local Afghans to stand up a national army and police ahead of his hasty year-end troop withdrawal. To process some 7,000 new recruits each month, corners were cut on background checks, allowing insurgents and terrorists to fill the ranks of the now-350,000-member security force.

The Post continued,

At the same time, the Pentagon allowed the Afghan government to take over and empty US prisons of Taliban and other terrorists as part of a mass amnesty program. It also funded a terrorist “reintegration” program that pays Taliban fighters to surrender and join the government. More shocking, the two programs feed a recruiting pipeline for Afghan security forces whom US troops are training to take over for them, further endangering them to insider attacks and jeopardizing our mission there.

The Post reports that U.S. Intelligence believes that approximately 25 percent of the current Afghan security forces belong to a terrorist organization. That would mean that 87,500 Afghanis trained with U.S. taxpayer funds, provided with American weapons, and American confidential intelligence are enemy combatants.

Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, the highest ranking military officer to die in a combat zone since Vietnam, was murdered by a member of the Taliban who infiltrated the American trained Afghan security force on August 5 of this year.

Greene was ambushed inside of an American training facility and murdered with an American issued M-16.

Although President Obama had time to take off a day from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to return to Washington to give a racially divisive speech in support of repeated felon, Michael Brown, of Ferguson, MO, neither he nor Vice President Biden could find the time to leave their vacations to attend Greene’s funeral.

The Post shows that the incident that took Greene’s life is not an anomaly:

In late 2012, after one in four US or NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan were murdered by Taliban sympathizers or operatives posing as Afghan security forces, the Pentagon subjected some, but not all recruits, to lie detector tests. But that special intel team has since been abandoned, and vetting duties have again fallen to Afghans, who allow cursory or no background checks at all for new recruits.

A President more concerned about our troops’ lives than about the Democratic Party’s political ambitions would, particularly after seeing how this exact same situation played out in Iraq, take the following actions:

  1. He would not withdraw from Afghanistan for perceived political expediency, regardless of what the Democrat base favored;
  2. He would not knowingly allow Taliban and al Qaeda members access to American weapons, training, and confidential intelligence materials;
  3. He would find ways to stop the hundreds of deaths of American soldiers caused by the Taliban and al qaeda members who have been allowed to join the Afghan security forces (like taking over vetting responsibilities, requiring background checks, giving them lie detector tests – all the things that America was doing under President Bush).

Obama operates in a purely political world where the only thing that matters is whether a certain policy or course of action will have a net positive effect on him and the Democrat party.

Unfortunately our enemies operate within the realm of reality without any consideration as to President Obama’s reputation, and they understand that America will never be led by a more feckless and feeble leader than Obama. America will be extremely fortunate to avoid a serious terrorist attack prior to the end of Obama’s tenure as president.


James Richard

James Edwards is a tireless advocate for federalism and minimizing the impact the federal government has on all of our lives.