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  • George Will Makes a Point on Defense

    In a recent comment George Will threw down the gauntlet to conservatives to explain how the White House hasn’t stolen their traditional claim championing a strong national defense. His challenge was no more stark than in rehashing the president’s line on counterterrorism.

    Will wrote, “Osama bin Laden and many other “high-value targets” are dead, the drone war is being waged more vigorously than ever, and Guantanamo is still open, so Republicans can hardly say that Obama has implemented dramatic and dangerous discontinuities regarding counterterrorism.” This pronouncement comes on the heels of  a Washington Post–ABC News poll that finds “the sharpest edges of President Obama’s counterterrorism policy, including the use of drone aircraft to kill suspected terrorists abroad and keeping open the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have broad public support….”

    Will is right. If there is something wrong with what the White House is doing it ought to be explained to the American people.

    There is something dead wrong with his counterterrorism strategy…and the Post poll inadvertently makes the point. “These findings come as no surprise. For well over a year now, there have been disturbing signs that the Administration’s counterterrorism seemed more structured to win popular support for his reelection bid than it did with defeating transnational terrorist groups aimed at attacking the United States. While the President’s policies might be intended to give a boost to his campaign for a second term, they are bound to make us less safe.”

    What has sharply reduced the threat of global terrorism over the last decade were the counterterrorism strategies that were put in place before Obama came into office. (FYI, the number of successful attacks against the US has been dropping since long before Obama became president.) Article continued beneath chart.

    From cutting and running in Iraq and Afghanistan to relying on drones as a substitute for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism strategy from continuing to both interrogation and detainment policies, Obama has been aggressively running away from a winning formula.

    If we stay on Obama’s course global terrorism could come roaring back to bit us. Will asks the right questions—conservative leaders need to start delivering hard hitting answers.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to George Will Makes a Point on Defense

    1. Peter says:

      Interesting point.. Mr. Obama maybe approving good tactical plans; however, his strategy work is poor.

    2. Jim, CT says:

      I have to ask – if OBL and Al Qaida hate us for our freedom, why did they fight the USSR in the 80's? If they're trying to convert us all to Islam, why did they turn against Saudi Arabia in the 90's?

      Killing every terrorist is impossible. All of the innocent bystanders and people in wedding parties that we accidentally killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have kids. Those kids are going to grow up hating America because of these wars and when they get older they will be the new terrorists.

      If we never address the motivation to become terrorists then the great War on Terror will never end.

      • YnotNOW says:

        So, Jim, are you instead suggesting that we invite Al Qaida leaders over for tea? They have killed many more innocent bystanders than the US ever did. They gain their influence by intimidation and violence, and the only way to counter that is to STOP their intimidation and violence – even if we bring violence to their leaders. Protect the people, and then they can make a free choice.

    3. I'd recommend Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism by Charles Hill
      "In Trial of a Thousand Years, Charles Hill analyzes the long war of Islamism against the international state system. Hill places the Islamists in their proper historical place, showing that they are but the latest challenge to the requirements that states had placed on themselves since the international system was born in 1648." In other al Qaeda is fighting aganist freedom AND ANYBODY ELSE that gets in the way of their desire for a world empire. A society like other that believes in the freedom of exchange of people, goods, services, and ideas is never going to be able to live peacefully in a world of Islamists.

    4. Peter, I think makes a good point. Obama kept the counterterrorism tactics that were politically correct or politically expedient and threw out the rest of the strategy.

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      How can "conservatives start delivering hard hitting answers" when true conservatives are demonized by both the Dems and Repbs as well as the news media, including FNC. How can true conservative be taken seriously enough when we have the likes of Ann Coulter, and others, that claim to be conservative, support those like Romney or Christie, who are Northeast liberals to the rest of the country, except the Northeast. If we are to save this nation as we have known it, we must form a third, conservative political party who's member are true to the cause and not claim the title to gain political favor and votes.

    6. James says:

      Who woulda thunk Mr Obama is a neo-con on defense? It's a shame his concern for our 8,000 miles of national borders and his foreign policy in the ME isn't as scrupulous.

    7. Realist says:

      Here's a surprise, an article written by a Republican leaning writer clearly states a Democrat has taken the upper hand on a traditional Republican strength, and the head in the sand, lunatic Right rushes to spin it. By the way, your map pretty clearly illustrates that counterterrorism was at – by far – it's absolute worst under Reagan and HW Bush, only to dramatically improve under Clinton (like pretty much everything else). Just sayin'

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