WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2015 – In a White House-produced video concerning a Sept. 10 meeting at the White House, President Obama said, “Right now, if I was taking advice of some members of Congress who holler all the time, we’d be in, like, seven wars right now. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been counting.”
The truth is that, had Obama followed the “peace through strength” philosophy, the world would likely be a much safer place today.
The congressional view carried out by President Kennedy when facing the Russians in Cuba and President Reagan when facing the Russians in Eastern Europe would have the U.S. stand up to aggression and use the threat of strong retaliation to avoid war.
No country would take aggressive action if it were convinced that a strong response from the most powerful nation in the world would result in a humiliating defeat for them.
Strong leadership from the U.S., which has the world’s most powerful military, would have prevented conflicts not escalated them. The Obama response of “turning the other cheek” and leading from behind simply emboldens our adversaries.
In Iraq, the war was won. Al-Qaeda was defeated. Although the elected government in Iraq had problems, a democracy was developing. All that Obama had to do was sign a status of forces agreement that would have left 10,000 troops in Iraq. He refused to sign the agreement, the U.S. essentially pulled out and chaos ensued.
Congress would have signed the agreement, which is similar to the agreement in Korea, where 25,000 US troops remain, preventing any further conflicts between North and South Korea.
Congress also advocated stronger intervention in Syria, especially when it was discovered that Assad was using chemical weapons. Obama made threats but then did nothing. The result was an escalated civil war in Syria that eventually led to the creation of ISIS.
Congress advocated standing up to ISIS from the beginning. Through the use of U.S. military, ISIS, who Obama said was like a JV team, would have been destroyed and Iraq would have been a safer place. The entire refugee crisis may have been minimized and perhaps completely avoided.
Congress advocated sending arms to the Ukrainians so they could defend themselves against Russian aggression. Instead Obama did essentially nothing, so Russia easily moved in an annexed part of the Ukraine where war like conditions continue today.
In 2009, the Iranian people were protesting against the repressive government there. Protesters needed support from the U.S. Obama declined. Perhaps had he listened to Congress, who strongly advocated helping the Iranian people, the current terroristic regime might not be there and Iran might be a more peaceful nation.
Instead, years later, Obama refused to listen to the congressional position and forced through an agreement with Iran even though a majority of senators and a majority in the House of Representatives were opposed to the deal. While it remains to be seen how Iran will respond to the requirements of the deal, most Americans believe that the deal will make the U.S. and the world less safe and likely will lead to further conflicts.
In Afghanistan, Obama has scheduled an end to the war or at least an end to American involvement. When Obama pledged to get the U.S. out of Afghanistan, the assumption was that he would win the war so we could leave. Instead he will simply pull out without victory. It has yet to be determined if U.S. forces will remain in some capacity.
In every instance where Obama claims that had he listened to Congress, the U.S. would be involved in seven wars, exactly the opposite seems to be true. Congress advocated building a strong military, not to use the force, but to use the threat of force. Any opponent who knows with certainty that he will lose a conflict will refrain from causing a conflict.
A strong military presence used selectively for combat purposes will eliminate wars, not cause them.
President Obama continues to have a foreign policy that creates the perception that America is weak-willed. Congress says that perception must be changed. Obama refuses to listen, and the U.S. is less secure as a result.