• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Does Obama's Terrorist Body Count...Count?

    The President’s National Security Advisor declared in an interview with ABC that Obama’s counterterrorism policy has already proven far more effective than that of his predecessor. I certainly hope that’s true. I pray its true. But….I have to admit the comment seems to defy logic. Experts know that the “stuff” that really gets terrorists is the hard slog…investigations, hunting them down, colating intelligence, penetrating organizations.

    So let me get be clear on this. Are we supposed to believe that the new administration walked in the door….and without even having most of its political appointments on board… not only forged broad new policies and programs and implemented them, but also, in just six months, have had time to analyze them and analytically demonstrate that they are more effective? You know what, after working in the military for 25 years and spending a decade watching how Washington works. I just don’t believe it.

    For example, since we no longer have secret detention facilities (that’s counter to administration policy) and since the administration has not announced the capture or interrogation of any new high value targets, it is not clear what the US has done. The Pakistani’s have reported picking up some high ranking Taliban thugs. Is the administration taking credit for that?

    Now, there are some pretty clear areas where we do see the new administration being very effective. The most obvious is Predator strikes in Pakistan (using unmanned vehicles to fly over the border, spot high-value terrorist targets and take them out with a small missile). The Obama administration is doing more and more effective Predator strikes. But, we also know that has nothing to do with politics. The Pentagon and CIA have spent years putting the intelligence and infrastructure together to do these strikes. In this case, Obama is building on Bush policies…not supplanting them.

    Here is what I am worried about. I’m worried that the National Security Advisor is making a “political” statement to take the heat off the administration for the Justice Department probe on the CIA. If that is true…that’s sad…because there is no faster path to destroying credibility than playing fast with the facts about national security.

    Its a really bad idea to make national security about “us” (being this administration) vs “them” (the last administration). To his credit, President Bush never thought it was appropriate to put the Clinton administration on trial for the shortfalls that led to 9/11. Finger pointing in the fox hole doesn’t get you very far.

    Americans want this President to be successful in the fight against transnational terrorism. After all, that’s the president’s job. Americans also understand its a long war and it will take time.

    Americans also want to be told the honest truth….and they don’t like politics mixed in when the lives of their families are on the line.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Does Obama's Terrorist Body Count...Count?

    1. Frank, St. Louis, Mi says:

      If you kill a terrorist, but don't call him a terrorist, did you kill a terrorist?

    2. James Carafano James Jay Carafano says:

      Frank, St. Louis, Missouri writes:

      If you kill a terrorist, but don’t call him a terrorist, did you kill a terrorist?

      Well, Frank yes and no. Its like if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there, does it make a sound? yes.

      On the other hand, when you call a terrorist and don't call him a terrorist you lose an opportunity to diminish your enemy. To an Islamist honor equals power, the powerless lack honor, when they cant protect themselves, when we kick their butt they are dishonored and lose respect and legitimacy.

      Good question

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      too much hidden, too many lies. no competence, no trust. quick answers, quick to excuse failed outcomes…

      next thing you know, they'll have taxpaid artists drawing pictures of Obama in the streets and subways. The stench of conceit.

    4. Pingback: NSA: Obama Terrorism Policy Superior to Bush’s

    5. Susan, Missouri says:

      Mr. Carafano's doubts are well grounded. Truly, this Administration is prideful and thinks much too highly of itself. As the bible teaches in Prov 6:16-19 a "proud look" is one of the things that is an abomination before the Lord. Seven are listed and they all seem to apply to this new administration. Proverbs 16:3-7 speaks volumes too.

      They boast too much for what little they have done. It is merely a way to distract others on the right hand from seeing what the left hand is doing.

      How can he make such claims when he's taking punitive measures against OUR own CIA?

    6. Spiritof76 says:

      It is like Al Capone claiming that his neighorhood was quiet. Al Capone was also from Chicago. But, that is just coincidence.

    7. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Pray God IS in control, and he DOES listen Pray.

    8. Bill Knickerson says:

      "On the other hand, when you call a terrorist and don’t call him a terrorist you lose an opportunity to diminish your enemy. To an Islamist honor equals power, the powerless lack honor, when they cant protect themselves, when we kick their butt they are dishonored and lose respect and legitimacy."

      I hope you're better with a rifle than you are with words. I find it disturbing that you don't even realize that your article is making a political statement about military decisions/performance, while at the same you are criticizing people (i assume people from the opposite side of a political aisle) for doing the exact same thing; making political points about military policy/performance. You point your finger at someone and accuse them of pointing their finger…. When it's not even obvious anymore, that's when it's time to start worrying.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.