Family Security Matters
LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD
On August 7, 2014, Barack Obama announced “Operation Annoy ISIS,” ordering U.S. aircraft to drop humanitarian supplies to tens of thousands of Yezidi refugees fleeing the terrorists of the Islamic State. He also ordered U.S. combat aircraft to be ready to launch airstrikes to protect Americans in Erbil, Iraq, and to lift the siege of the Yezidis.
The airstrikes began on Aug. 8, 2014, when two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
On September 10, 2014, Obama declared his intention to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS, while precluding a combat mission for American ground forces in Iraq.
As of October 7, 2014, 60 days into the air campaign against ISIS, a total of 376 airstrikes have been conducted, 266 in Iraq and 110 in Syria, the vast majority targeting vehicles, equipment and buildings, not terrorists.
Supporters of the Obama Administration’s approach to the ISIS threat cite the 1999 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) air campaign in the Kosovo War as an example of how air power alone can end wars.
The basic foreign policy principles of various presidencies have been dubbed “doctrines.” In most cases such “doctrines” are gleaned from the practices of a given president’s foreign policy and pieced together from various official documents and even memos. One notable exception being the Monroe Doctrine which was put forward as a public doctrine and a warning to European countries.
Introduced on December 2, 1823, in President Monroe’s state of the union speech, it basically warned European nations to butt out of South America and the Americas generally. In return the US would butt out of European affairs. By contrast the Bush Doctrine was never put forward as a formal document but is a codification of Bush administration practices and the justification advanced defending those practices. Basically the Bush doctrine is that the US has the right to intervene in foreign countries and depose regimes that pose a threat to the US and to advance the cause of democracy in such areas of conflict.
Similarly, The Obama administration has never put forward a Monroe-like doctrine of its approach to foreign policy. Rather the public is treated to sonorous pieties about mutual respect and bringing old adversaries together in the spirit of mutual cooperation with benefit to all.
But now an Obama doctrine has emerged. And the irony is that the basics of the Obama doctrine have been revealed in a New York Times article designed to remove the Benghazi stain from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. It is a revisionist piece claiming that Al Qaeda was not involved in the attack on the American consulate. Here is an account from The Weekly Standard: