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  • Obama Administration Misses the Mark Politicizing Counter-terror Policies

    Following Barack Obama’s inauguration last year, the newly-elected commander-in-chief sought to impose his vision of “change” on U.S. counter-terrorism policies. On his third day in office, the President signed an executive order directing that Guantanamo Bay prison be closed within a year. The decision was complemented by an additional order to ban enhanced interrogation techniques, effectively removing life-saving procedures from the intelligence gathering toolbox. While the President’s attempts to transform American counter-terror strategy were welcomed with open arms by his political allies in Congress, others were less enthusiastic.

    President Obama was quick to criticize the Bush administration’s counterterrorism tools at the beginning of his tenure, but as the President is coming under fire, he now finds himself having to cite the value of maintaining continuity in terror policies as justification for his administration’s decisions. The most recent illustration is the administration’s insistence that civilian trials for terrorists are in keeping with Bush-era procedures. Though the President should be praised for keeping intact many of the essential policies that have prevented another 9/11-style attack, using the “consistencies in terror policies argument” as political cover is not an effective counter-terror strategy.

    As Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted in a recent Heritage lecture, America faces an enemy that is adaptable, and our tactics must reflect the ever-evolving threat posed by terrorism. Instead of putting politics over security, the administration must re-focus its national security strategy. Rather than make national security decisions with political calculations in mind, the President should resist pressure from his political base to treat terrorism as a law enforcement problem. As technology advances and Islamist terrorists develop new methods of attack, the need to remain one step ahead of our adversaries is more important than ever. In order for the nation to successfully meet the ongoing threat of terrorism, President Obama must focus his efforts on winning the war on terror, not reelection.

    Ben Smithwick is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Obama Administration Misses the Mark Politicizing Counter-terror Policies

    1. Adam says:

      This is a great analysis of how Obama is making us a lot less safe. Great work Heritage. I love how your experts really break things down and always shed light on the truth.

    2. Josh says:

      Obama's policies are definitely hurting a America. Great Article on Obama's counter-terrorism policies.

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    5. bigdave, ocala fl says:

      Dear Idiot-in-chief Obama: I believe militant islamists brought DEATH AND DESTRUCTION to our shores on 9/11/2001, and since that time have continued not only their threats but actual KILLINGS here and in many countries abroad. Do you even recall 3000 people here dying on that fateful day, one of them a step son of mine?! You obviously are more concerned with terrorists rights(?) than you are the future safety of Americans, even to the point where "our" military ARRESTS our soldiers for FALSE CLAIMS MADE BY MURDERERS! Let us be clear. TRUE OR FALSE CLAIMS WE DO NOT CARE! We do not give a rats ass about these horrible people who have in plain sight cut off the heads of many innocent people and the ONES WHO "CAN" do something about it…do nothing, then make it all worse by coddling the killers! These killers HIDE among their own women and children and DO NOT CARE IF THEY ARE KILLED, in fact they BLOW UP THEIR OWN PEOPLE ROUTINELY and YOU have the AUDACITY to align yourself with these murderers and PROTECT THEM! You might as well be one of them sir! What an unmitigated DISGRACE YOU ARE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. We will insure the history books tell the TRUTH about you, rather than allow history to be re-written as liberals are wont to do.

    6. DANNY HALTER TENNESS says:

      WHEN YOU ELECT A MUSLIM , WHAT DO YOU EXPECT. HE'S NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING TO OFFEND HIS PEOPLE. HE SAID THAT THIS COUNTRY WAS NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION 'SO WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU,BUT I HATE TO TELL HIM BUT WE ARE A PROUD CHRISTIAN NATION, AND IF HE DON'T LIKE IT HE NEEDS TO MOVE TO A REAL MUSLIM NATION.IDON'T THINK IT WOULD TAKE HIM LONG TO COME CRYING WANTING TO COME BACK.I

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