For years we watched our nation’s foreign policy situation and have been reminded that what conservatives said during the 2008 election was far too true: then-Senator Barack Obama was simply not experienced enough to be President of the United States. This isn’t the first time Obama has shown us that he wasn’t adequately prepared to be Commander-in-Chief, but it’s a reminder of the harsh reality that comes with electing someone who needs on the job training.
Whether you support military intervention in Syria or you are against it, we can all agree it’s not becoming of a Commander-in-Chief to handle a foreign policy crisis the way President Obama is with Syria. Leaders take action; leaders don’t make covert operations public fodder and leaders have principles and get things done. Israel has taken action against Syria and struck them covertly; we shouldn’t be announcing this type of “limited” strike to the entire globe.
It has already been reported that Syrian President Bashar Assad is dispersing his men and materials throughout his country. In fact, he is moving his military hardware and troops into civilian areas. Again, he would not be doing this if President Obama did not telegraph an attack is coming. The biggest advantage that the American military possess is surprise and what has happened over the last couple of weeks is far from it and will jeopardize whatever the mission’s ultimate goals are.
The crisis in Syria is spurred on because of American inaction. President Obama and for that matter former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are to blame for where we are today. On August 18, 2011 President Obama said, “…President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way.” Tough talk from the leader of the free world but unfortunately it was just that – tough talk with no action. If President Obama was serious he would have started a full-out covert operation in Syria where we would have been grooming a new leader who respected human rights.
In the winter of 2012, as the civilian casualties mounted in Syria some in Congress were calling for arming the rebels as well as limited airstrikes to tip the balance of the battlefield. In the spring of 2012, the then-presumptive Republican presidential nominee called for arming the Syrian rebels. Fast-forward to August of 2012, right before the GOP convention President Obama makes his “red line” statement. Did he do it for political purposes?
Then March of this year the first reports of a chemical attack in Syria had occurred. President Obama’s immediate response was to call it a “game changer”. In late April he repeats the line of “game changer” again which was followed with…no action. Finally it is August and Assad feels that he can get away with a chemical strike and murders over 1,400 of his civilians. The situation in Syria is like a cancer that has been festering for a long time without any action. With any cancer treatment you need to kill it at the beginning not when it is terminal. Unfortunately what we see in Syria right now is a very bad prognosis with bad options.
President Obama’s weakness is on display to the entire world. The Campaigner-in-Chief is relying on polling data to decide what his actions should be, rather than acting as a true Commander-in-Chief. Imagine if all Generals and Commanders polled the entire nation before making military decisions? While Congress must be involved in such decisions, President Obama could have easily managed the crisis in Syria without showing this degree of weakness.