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Yemen has become yet another terrorist refuge, and (contrary to administration propaganda) the cross-border military effort launched by the worried Saudis last year was a Keystone Cops debacle—all the billions in US weaponry purchased by the kingdom is worthless when it’s operated by cowardly fools too lazy to train and too disinterested to fight. Iraq, at Iran’s behest, wants our last troops gone. And our “NATO ally” Turkey is becoming an Islamist state, chummier by far with Tehran than with Washington (when Ankara’s not staging provocations against Israel). Of course, the administration denies all of this, portraying our pathetic president’s every failure as a triumph (he really should sit down with North Korea’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il—they might get along wonderfully, given the delusional qualities they share and their mutual love of personality cults).
Speaking of North Korea…we haven’t heard Obama speak of North Korea. Others get to do the dirty-work on that, since the president has no idea what to do. While the White House wrung its hands, it took South Korea’s president to man up and tell the North Koreans: No more—or it’s war. The North Koreans blustered, but backed down.
Last but not least, there’s AfPak. It would be unfair to say that the administration’s strategy is failing, because the administration still doesn’t have a strategy—just a disconnected bunch of efforts that cost a great deal and produce little or nothing. We’re told that we’re making progress, even as the Taliban skip their usual winter break to maintain the pressure on our troops and on the Afghan civilians the Kabul government can’t protect.. Nurtured by our Pakistani friends, the Taliban is more pervasive than it’s been since the autumn of 2001—and this administration doesn’t know what to do.
The gleefully corrupt Karzai administration continues to ignore its fundamental responsibilities to its own people, while engaging in cronyism to a degree that would have shamed Tammany Hall. Our Afghan allies won’t fight, won’t govern, and won’t work. Ten years into this, we’ve made far less progress than the Soviets did in their time (and we know how that one ended). To top it all, we insist we’re not nation-building, while 90% of what we do is nation-building. But you can’t nation-build where there’s no nation.
And then there are our Pakistani “allies,” who are raking in another $6-billion from us for protecting our enemies. Pakistan’s military and security services shelter the Afghan Taliban’s leadership (the Quetta Shura) and, I believe, shield al Qaeda’s top operatives. Meanwhile, the state’s decomposing, as radical Muslims murder the country’s last politicians committed to human rights and the rule of law. With a willful ignorance of history and human affairs, our State Department assures us that fanaticism isn’t that big a threat, really, because the extremists don’t perform well in elections. But Hitler didn’t come to power with a majority of the popular vote. And “Bolshevik” may mean “majority party,” but the Bolsheviks never had one. Rogue states aren’t run by electoral majorities, but by minorities armed and determined.
We never run out of excuses for Islamabad, even as Pakistan sponsors terrorist attacks against India, knowing we’ll keep New Delhi from retaliating–a practice that make the US an accomplice to terror. We insist we have friends on the Indus, but even the politicians upon whom we lavished praise over the years played the anti-American card for their own advantage—as do Pakistan’s irresponsible journalists (can’t wait to see how they fare under a nuclear-armed terror regime). In Pakistan, we’re trying to bribe a state with 175-million anti-American Muslims to help us defeat Muslim terrorists the state intends to use to its own advantage. If this is a brilliant strategy on the part of the administration, it’s too deep a game for me to understand.
Almost forgot the narco-insurgency in Mexico (there’s just so much hostile ground to cover these days): In a stunning blunder, Secretary of State Clinton described the situation accurately for one brief moment—before retreating back into the fantasy that the civil war in Mexico doesn’t really exist and wouldn’t affect us if it did—let’s focus on the beach chairs and margaritas. Well, on a day-to-day basis, Mexico is the most important foreign state to the US—strategically, economically, socially and criminally. But, hey, just have another tequila and pretend the border’s secure.
Has this administration—so full of self-praise—achieved a single foreign-policy win that means anything?
Well, yes. It won a significant victory over Israel–the only rule-of-law democracy in the Middle East—by convincing the Palestinians that we were ready to betray our only true allies in the region and encouraging them to pull back from any hint of rational compromise. Single-handedly, President Obama created a diplomatic Intifada that set back the peace process by at least a decade.
See? I’m willing to give full credit where it’s due.
Ralph Peters is an author and retired Army officer with experience in 70 countries on 6 continents. His new novel, “The Officers’ Club,” set in the post-Vietnam military, goes on sale on Tuesday, January 18th.
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