Family Security Matters
On December 6 President Barack Obama defended his strategy for combating terrorism, a strategy – if one can call it that – based on restraint and withdrawal. Without mentioning Donald Trump’s name, the president went on to contrast his ideas with those enunciated by the president elect. He clearly attempted to make the case for why his successor should adhere to his approach.
That approach includes scaling back U.S. military presence abroad, a ban on torture and the closing of the detention facility in Guantanamo. President Obama referred to his approach as “smart policy” and noted with pride that “no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland, and it’s not because they didn’t try.” He argued, as well, for using diplomacy before military power, pointing to the Iran deal as the way to restrain a nuclear program.
While President Obama is keen on securing his legacy, the claims about “smart policy” are questionable. Alas, the scaling back of U.S. military presence has occurred with the precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, a symbol of misguided policy directives. The rise of ISIS is due in no small part to the departure of the U.S. military from the region. Similarly, the announcement that there will be a dramatic force reduction in Afghanistan on an announced date, led directly to enhanced field operations by the Taliban.