Obama’s Three Achilles’ Heels

Alan W. Dowd writes on defense and security.


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But the president won’t be confused by the facts. Instead, he recently embraced plans for a massive defense cut of $487 billion. Many forget that the Pentagon had already coughed up $400 billion in cuts, which the president ordered in 2010-11.

There will be consequences. Even Defense Secretary Panetta concedes that the cuts will create “risks.” His predecessor explained the risks and consequences in philosophical terms: “If we are going to reduce the resources and the size of the U.S. military,” Secretary Gates warned, “people need to make conscious choices about what the implications are for the security of the country…The tough choices ahead are really about the kind of role the American people—accustomed to unquestioned military dominance for the past two decades—want their country to play in the world.”

In other words, there’s a cost to maintaining a peerless power-projecting military, but there’s also a cost to not doing so. The GOP nominee should talk about the choices and the costs.

U.S. Leadership

That brings us to global leadership. President Obama deserves credit for eliminating Osama bin Laden. It was decisive and bold. But it also was an anomaly, as we now know.

This is, after all, the administration that found a way to lead in two directions in Egypt. Recall that his secretary of state and vice president initially offered strong support for Hosni Mubarak, before the president pulled the rug out from under America’s longtime ally.

When not leading in two directions, the president is not leading at all. Iran in 2009 and Syria today are cases in point. In response to Iran’s Twitter Revolution in 2009, President Obama sat silent. The sad irony of his non-response to the stirrings of revolution in Iran was that it answered his own rhetorical question of a year before, albeit in a manner his supporters would never have imagined. “Will we stand for the human rights of…the blogger in Iran?” he asked. The Iranian people know the answer.

Likewise, in Syria—one of those unique cases where conscience and national interest overlap—the president has been inexplicably silent and inactive. Instead, the Turks and the Arab League are leading the way.

The president also has led in the wrong direction at times, as in Afghanistan (where his commanders got far fewer troops than they requested and were given far less time than they were initially promised), Iraq (where his commanders’ advice to leave behind a stabilizing force was ignored) and Eastern Europe. The president desperately wanted to ink an arms control treaty of questionable merit with Russia, so he scrapped plans for a permanent defense against missile threats in Eastern Europe—plans that had been endorsed by NATO and by host governments in Poland and the Czech Republic. A Polish defense official called the decision “catastrophic.” And a Czech official angrily rejected the president’s new plan as “a consolation prize.”

Finally, this president seems most comfortable with “leading from behind,” as one administration official describes the Obama Doctrine. This form of non-leadership was showcased during NATO’s eight-month-long air war over Libya. As Britain and France strained to try to do what the United States used to do effortlessly, the White House talked about a “time-limited, scope-limited” mission; the president promised that America’s military would play a “supporting role” while its allies staggered; and incredibly—laughably, if it were not a matter of life and death—when NATO asked Washington to extend air operations at one critical point in the mission, a NATO official took pains to emphasize that the extension of U.S. air power “expires on Monday.”

That’s what passes for U.S. leadership under this president, and voters need to understand this.

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  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    The author just keeps on the obfuscation and misrepresentation of the real extent of the criminality of Obama. And keeps doing it even now, when the ugly truth surfaces up everywhere.

    Indeed, Obama/Soetoro has much more than Three Achilles' Heels. The list of his actions bordering with treason is more than a page long (the NDAA martial law act cancelling the due process for American citizens on American soil being the most recent). Yet the so called designated "opposition party" (formerly known as GOP) shuns to mention even one of those treasonous acts.

    Indeed, "this is not winning strategies against pResident Obama".

    But why should they be? In order to defeat the opponent the first thing one needs is … TO WISH TO DEFEAT THE OPPONENT (rather than to settle with him on 8 years you, 8 years me in the treasonous deal of 2008)…

    And in order to defeat any opponent one must expose his criminality in the first place (unless one is not an accomplice indeed). And how much more criminality you need if your opponent is …

    - A thief, an identity THIEF with fake SS#!

    - A fraud who had produced a cheap audacious forgery of his birth certificate! This has compromised the entire institute of American presidency more than anything in the entire history!

    - A not US natural born citizen, therefore not qualified because of this alone!

    And then – the numerous acts of treason, such as killing the project of Canadian oil pipeline – in order to placate his "green energy" cronies and islamic owners. And not a peep from any of the "front runners" in the so called opposition party, which is watching with approval how the states enter into the ballots the name of the impostor, thief and fraud the SECOND TIME!

    Alas, the article covers up rather than exposes the true Achilles' heel of the opponent…

    • Keith Smirh

      I don't think that the illegal "president" even needs to be impeached. He just needs to arrested for breaking all the laws he has broken. He is an ordtnary criminal. It must be from his "Chcago experiance".

  • poptoy

    Very well said. Great Article.

  • StephenD

    For him to be even in consideration for re-election exposes how unbalanced we in America are as a whole.

  • F. Swemson

    Re: Obama's 3 Achilles Heels:

    ENERGY: The author makes it sound as if Obama merely differs with rational thinking and honestly believes solar and wind power can replace fossil fuels. NOT true! He knows it's a lie because his goal isn't to solve our energy problem, his goal is to destroy America, i.e. his energy policy is a lie!

    SPENDING: The author wonder's why Obama wasted time and political capital appointing the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in the first place if he was going to ignore their recommendations. BUT WE KNOW WHY HE DID IT! He did it to cover his real intentions, which is to spend us into oblivion… i.e., it was a lie!

    U.S. LEADERSHIP: Obama does NOT deserve credit for getting Bin Laden. In fact he tried to wuss out on it not wanting to take any political risks. What he did was leave the actual "go / no go" decision up to Panetta, so that if the mission failed, he could weasel out and blame it on Panetta. If Panetta and the Navy commanders on the scene had not put their careers at risk and took the chance it never could have happened. Now Obama portrays himself as the fearless warrior who got Bin Laden, and just as it is in EVERYTHING else he's said & done, he's LYING.

    Mr. Gofen's comment above is correct. The list of Obama's crimes is endless. What I want to know is why do so many who know better keep pretending that he's actually trying to do the right thing, when in fact he's been very effectively and efficiently doing exactly what he set out to do, destroy our country.

    Why are we letting this happen?

    fs

    • sedoanman

      The problem the author has is that he thinks voters vote issues. They don't. They vote in a manner that makes them feel good about themselves. I personally know that some of øbama’s most committed supporters are CATHOLICS who voted for him in 2008. Attacking øbama is to deprive them of that feeling. This leads me to conclude that there is NOTHING øbama can do to get himself un-elected.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Nice to see you back………………..William

  • BLJ

    Make the cretan run on his record as POTUS. Keep the message simple and keep hammering away no matter what type of distractions the Dems put out there. Do not respond to any race card baits.

    If the Republican nominee can stay disciplined and keep the focus on the Obama referendum he can be defeated. It will not be easy since the MSM is on his side and there are still far too many simpletons who will vote for him. Howvever this strategy ha a decent chance of working.

    Should it fail I would suggest stocking up on the food basics and plenty of buckshot.

    • Jim_C

      You aren't really a student of politics, are you? I mean, you know what you like–but you don't know how it works.

      Obama has a decent record as POTUS. The economy could be better; outside that, Obama's been very measured and reasonable–or at least, gives the appearance of reasonability. He killed bin Ladin, he helped stave off a Depression, he actually did something about health care.

      The more anyone attacks him for his alleged "radicalism," the better he looks. And he's a proven campaigner–there's no one in the current GOP crop comes close. Basically, by insisting on unreasonable qualifications of what is a "conservative," you guys have blown your chance at an electable candidate. If you wanted a real (not pop) conservative, you'd have picked Ron Paul long ago. If you wanted someone with a chance against Obama, you'd have picked Huntsman–a non-plastic version of Romney.

      • Wideband

        Pot, meet kettle.

        Obama has a poor record as POTUS. The economy could be better? That's like saying Chaz Bono could lose a few pounds. Reasonable? Have you heard the guy talk lately? He just tried to blame George W. Bush for slavery, rap music, and tooth decay. You give him credit for the death of Bin Laden? Anybody would have made that call, as a matter of fact; it was the kind of decision Obama is best suited for – a no-brainer. Sure, he actually did something about health care, made it more expensive, less available, and more bureaucratic, all with the same unconstitutional program.

        So forgive conservatives if we don’t take your advise on who to vote for, it didn’t work out so great last time.

      • BLJ

        You are really good at twisting words there Jimbo. I never stated to attack him personally. I said focus on his record as President.

        To say he has a decent record as POTUS is a load of crap. Staved off a depression? Are you serious? He also did not kill Bin Laden. The Navy SEALS did and they chase to get him started with President Bush.

        I guess until Obama and his cohorts steal more of our liberties will someone like you finally wake up and smell the coffee. The problem is it will be too late.

        • Jim_C

          I've smelled the coffee, brother. It smells like 5 more years of Obama. Didn't say you were getting personal; said calling him "radical" is bad politics.

          The current field of candidates you guys have–we all know it's about as weak as it gets. There's two reasons for that. 1. Unrealistic expectations for what a "conservative" candidate should be, ginned up by your own media mouthpieces, most of whom never spent time in government; and 2. Your actual smart GOP candidates deciding "2012 doesn't look good for us. We'll sit this one out and take our chances in 2016." Now, if 2012 doesn't look good to them, that's not because Obama's made of teflon. It's because his record's not nearly as bad as you portray. You are welcome to think so, obviously, but he can campaign on it, and win.

          Pretty sure you guys will have a decent, palatable candidate in 2016, but not until then, and not unless conservative rhetoric "softens" up. See the problem with most voters–they don't understand what governing and legislating is all about. So I actually sympathize with Romney and Santorum when they get attacked, and attack each other for essentially…doing their jobs.

          • BLJ

            I agree that what the Repubs have going right now isn't their first string. The problem is wating until 2016 may be too late for us all. I really sincerely believe that Obama is evil and hates America.

            The tea leafs out there just all add up to this conclusion for me. Obama has the MSM in pocket and sadly there are far too many people in this country that vote who have no clue. I just want to see the Repub nominee make this guy actually sweat this time around.

            I think if the pressure gets to great the Dear Leader may just lose his cool and the Wizard of Oz curtain will come down. Then maybe, just maybe, enough people can see him for what he really is.

  • Anamah

    The man is a fraud.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The salient point in the election is that Americans will or will not vote for a liar and Obama is the biggest
    liar ever to set foot on the World Stage. Does America wish to continue to be lied to every time this
    man opens his mouth, has America sunk so low as to laud the liar in thief and continue with the
    biggest con in world history? Anyone that votes for this man is either brain dead or evil and vile.
    William

    • Jim_C

      What a drama queen you are. Take your meds.

      • WilliamJamesWard

        "Red Queen—–Off with your head"……………..William

  • Jim_C

    It's a pretty good article, you guys should listen to it. There's not much chance to beat Obama, but if there were, I'd take these tacks.