Telegraphing Our Punches - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Telegraphing Our Punches

The smart folks over at Investors Business Daily offered one of the most comprehensive “decodings” of President Obama’s Syria/ISIS strategy — after the president told our friends and foes alike that he doesn’t have one.

Tonight at 9 PM EDT, we’ll get the latest “reset” in strategy…days after a speech at a NATO meeting in which Obama basically laid out three different near-strategies within just a few minutes of each other.

At this point, the whole thing bores me, despite recognizing its seriousness.

Here are my predictions what he’ll say:

  • ISIS is both a regional problem and a threat to the US. (He’ll say it in a way which is even more muddled than the idea itself.)
  • Regional governments will have to be involved. He probably doesn’t have the courage to name those governments, especially Turkey (whose anti-Semitic leader is typical of Obama’s “friends” in the area) and Saudi Arabia.
  • We’ll send more “advisors” to help this fledgling Iraqi government. He won’t say that the rules of engagement for the small number of US forces in theater are disastrous both for their safety and for the success of the mission.
  • We will attack ISIS wherever they are. He won’t mention Syria as a target, though he may imply it by mentioning that ISIS is in Syria.
  • He’s doing Congress a favor by even having this speech because he doesn’t need Congressional approval to do whatever he’s going to do.

Beyond the fact that I’m even more tired of hearing Obama than he seems to be of being president, there’s an enormous problem (or should I say another enormous problem) with how this is being done: The finger-in-the-wind public discussion of air strikes in Syria has certainly encouraged ISIS leadership to take up both dispersed and hardened positions and to do the same — especially the dispersal — for their forces and weaponry. With no anticipated “boots on the ground” (not that I’m arguing for them), air power is of use only where there is at least a moderate sized gathering of bad guys and their weapons.

By telegraphing his next moves against ISIS, Obama has all but guaranteed that they will have minimal impact.

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