The Obama administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia has led to complete chaos in a region already fraught with instability. Choosing to “lead from behind” and failing to recognize the danger of Islamic radicals is costing everyone dearly.
For our December issue, intrepid Blaze reporter Sara Carter examines how the administration has fanned the flames of insecurity. And it’s threatening the entire world.
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Below are few small excerpts from the in-depth December 2013 “Chaos” cover. The full story is available ONLY in the newest issue of TheBlaze Magazine.
Shireen quickly swiped the sweat from his brow and grasped the steering wheel of his old beat-up SUV tightly. He was no longer singing and dancing in his seat to the music on his radio. Instead, Taliban religious leaders in a small white van next to him were yelling to turn off the music.
I sat quietly in the backseat with my head down.
“They are very angry,” said Shireen, as we sat patiently waiting for the light to change in downtown Kabul. “Stay quiet. Maybe they will go.”
I did not move. I did not speak. I did not shift my eyes.
Afghanistan is a different world. Any wrong move could be construed as disrespect.
I grew up in Saudi Arabia. And if my childhood experiences in the kingdom, where my father was working, taught me anything it was to not make a scene. This is a culture quite different from our own. I knew how dangerous something as simple as singing a pop song in public could be, particularly in the presence of religious leaders.
But the situation escalated nonetheless.
The Taliban was threatening to pull Shireen out of the car. He pleaded with them and promised not to play the music again. My heart raced. I don’t speak Pashtun, I thought. They’ll realize I’m American. They’ll blame me. But when the light changed they drove off.
“Why is the Taliban in Kabul? Why are they not afraid?” said Shireen, still visibly upset. “Why can’t America defeat them?”
IMPLEMENTING OBAMA’S STRATEGIES
The answer was as elusive then as it is now. It was 2009, and the Obama administration’s policies of appeasement in Afghanistan were just beginning to take hold. The administration would implement a similar pattern of foreign-policy decisions that year, across the Middle East and North Africa. And while President Barack Obama insisted there was not a war on terror but a war on al Qaeda, which he said had been severely weakened, the ideology continued to spread across South Asia, Africa and the Middle East like an infectious disease.
While I was there covering the Afghanistan war, it was the first time I witnessed policies of appeasement in action. Those policies did not serve the interest of the United States; in fact, they worked against U.S. national security efforts and its military objective to eliminate the Taliban. And now, more than 12 years since the start of the war, with thousands of lives lost and tens of thousands more of our troops disabled, the terrorists have not been eliminated and Afghanistan is just as unstable.
Just a few blocks away from where the Taliban religious leaders threatened my friend Shireen, U.S. commanders stationed at the International Security Headquarters in Kabul in 2009 were working diligently to find a way to win the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people. Winning them over, however, would require putting U.S. troops’ lives in danger and appeasing a knowingly corrupt Afghan government.
At the same time, Obama was trying to win over the hearts and minds of leaders in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia. It was his effort to rebuild what he attested to as weak relations between the United States and the rest of the world. He did so through a series of appeasement policies, public apologies and changes to the former administration’s war on terror. … Policies like “leading from behind” were to become common language in the administration.
Over the course of President Obama’s tenure, he has chosen to lay blame on America for everything from instability in the Middle East to the failure of U.S. relations with the European Union. He has made a point of delivering that message to a global audience at a great expense to the United States, said James Carafano, a senior defense analyst with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.
Instead of implementing policies based on averting threats and protecting the national security of the United States, Obama’s failure lies in his inability to provide direction and lack of faith in American exceptionalism.
Carafano believes “Obama’s biggest problem is that he has become predictable” with regard to his failure to follow through with what he says.
“He wants to avoid conflict and risk, much in the style of [former President] Jimmy Carter, smart adversaries are exploiting that to their advantage,” Carafano said. “Friends and allies are becoming less confident in American resolve and staying power.”
Worse yet, “U.S. policy is contributing to global instability not mitigating it,” Carafano added. [...]
VERGING ON SOMETHING WORSE
… Despite the thousands of U.S. troops who have lost their lives and limbs fighting in America’s longest war, Afghanistan is now on the brink of chaos. … The Taliban has grown in strength and numbers. Attacks against U.S. civilians and NATO forces continue. Afghans are growing increasingly distrustful of the United States and their own central government. [...]
Afghanistan is a war the president wants to end. Although the Afghan Taliban, who aided al Qaeda and continue to threaten the West, are still a strong force in the region, the weariness of war set in, and the White House wants out.
But as the White House prepared an exit for Afghanistan, the rest of the Muslim world began to unravel and continues to be plagued by uncertainty. The end game is nowhere in site, and the administration has been left holding the their own bag of failed foreign-policy mishaps and decisions. [...]
BACKING THE WRONG TEAM
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was prepared to take advantage of the chaos. Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president in its 5,000-year history, was a Muslim extremist, but the Obama administration immediately embraced him. Even before Morsi’s victory, Obama’s own director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, told Congress not to worry about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, because the group had become “largely secular.”
Morsi’s win in 2012, however, was not embraced by everyone. Many scholars and analysts warned that his win could shift an already unstable Egypt from its secular roots to a stringent Islamist nation. Others wondered what would happen to the 1978 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. What would happen to the rest of the Muslim world as the Brotherhood continued to extend its reach?
It wouldn’t take long for Morsi to show his true colors. After he was elected, he spoke of annulling the Camp David Accords in an effort to expand Egypt’s control over the Sinai—and that wasn’t the only sign that Morsi was far from being the secularist the Obama White House made him out to be.
The Muslim Brotherhood was the inspiration for the founding of al Qaeda. It’s members, including Morsi, were known to openly speak out against the West and its policies in the Middle East. On election night, Morsi told supporters that the “Koran would be Egypt’s constitution” and chanted before the large crowd, “Jihad is our path!”
“And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration,” he added. [...]
But the Obama administration had already praised Morsi for brokering a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel—a deal made easy since the Muslim Brotherhood already had relations with the terrorist faction.
It was another embarrassing policy blunder for the United States. [...]
WHO’S SORRY NOW?
The outcome of Obama’s policy on the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the war on al Qaeda still remain to be seen and won’t be understood until history has a chance to play itself out.
Al Qaeda is still on the rise. Syria is in the midst of a bloody civil war. Instability has taken over the Middle East. Our troops in Afghanistan are still dying at the hands of an enemy that uses the U.S. military’s rules of engagement against them.
Obama told Al Arabiya, a widely viewed Middle East news outlet, that …
Find out the truth about what our president has actually told Middle East media and more in TheBlaze Magazine.
There’s much more about the chaos Obama’s foreign policy has wrought–from Benghazi to Syria to Iran–in the December issue of TheBlaze magazine—which you can get for FREE.
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