According to an article in the WSJ (available around the paywall here), the 2012 raid on the bin Laden compound in Pakistan netted the single greatest collection of intelligence materials since 9/11. At the time -- and since -- the Obama message was that al Qaeda was all but destroyed and that it was time to wind down the war on terror. As Obama said, when two years ago he asked Congress to repeal the Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in the wake of 9/11, this war on terror "must end."
However, the wealth of materials captured in the bin Laden raid told a different story. They told of a vastly expanding threat from al Qaeda, the Taliban and the ISIS, as well as complicity by Iran. Those facts contradicted the Obama administration's narrative, so not only were they kept from the public eye, but in what can only be seen as treasonous insanity, they were walled off from analysis by our intelligence community for at least a year, and have had only limited availability since. Yes, read that last line twice and let it sink in.
After a pitched bureaucratic battle [that lasted about a year], a small team of analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency and Centcom was given time-limited, read-only access to the documents. The DIA team began producing analyses reflecting what they were seeing in the documents.
At precisely the time Mr. Obama was campaigning on the imminent death of al Qaeda, those with access to the bin Laden documents were seeing, in bin Laden’s own words, that the opposite was true. Says Lt. Gen. Flynn: “By that time, they probably had grown by about—I’d say close to doubling by that time. And we knew that.”
This wasn’t what the Obama White House wanted to hear. So the administration cut off DIA access to the documents and instructed DIA officials to stop producing analyses based on them.
Even this limited glimpse into the broader set of documents revealed the problems with the administration’s claims about al Qaeda. Bin Laden had clear control of al Qaeda and was intimately involved in day-to-day management. More important, given the dramatic growth of the terror threat in the years since, the documents showed that bin Laden had expansion plans. . . .
The WSJ article goes on to argue for making all of the documents from the bin Laden raid publicly available. I'd be satisfied if they'd just make them available to our intel analysts. This incident highlights both how and why Obama's foreign policy has been a complete disaster for our national security. Obama's policies are completely out of touch with reality. Obama values ideology and political power more than he does our national security. And while our nation can recover from the economic disaster that the Obama regime has been, it is far less certain that we can recover from the damage Obama has done to our national security,
In 2008, I wrote a post supporting John McCain's presidential bid on the issue of national security. I argued that McCain could be expected to make national security decisions respecting "Iran, Iraq and terrorism" based on the long term interests of our country while Obama would make such decisions based on ideology and polls. I think history has proven my point with a terrible vengeance, but it is a hollow 'I told you so.' Even I never expected this degree of disaster. As Victor Davis Hanson recently stated, "Obama’s morally confused foreign policy is making the world more dangerous by the day."
To list --
- Obama squandered our victory in Iraq because he, and indeed, the entire left wanted history to consider our war there illegitimate. Iran now increasingly holds sway in Iraq and our true allies in Iraq, the Kurds, are in desperate straits.
- Obama's decision to unilateraly end our military engagement in Afghanistan threatens that country with the same fate as Iraq.
- Obama refused to intercede in Syria at the start of their civil war. While Obama fiddled, pro-Western forces in Syria were overcome by the Sunni radical groups. Syria is now a war for spoils between the Wahabbi radicals of ISIS and the mad mullahs of Iran.
- Obama's war in Libya against Qaddafi, who at least maintained the neutrality of that country, has opened up Libya for exploitation by ISIS and al Qaeda.
- Obama fully supported the Muslim Brotherhood administration of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt as they used authoritarian tactics to reshape that nation into a permanent theocracy. The Obama administration still maintains ties with the Muslim Brotherhood while having a very cool relationship with Egypt's secular leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who, it should be noted, is the only national leader, Islamic or otherwise, to call for a reform of Islam.
- Obama refuses to even acknowledge Islam's role in the Islamic terrorism that is reshaping our world. That refusal to engage in the war of ideas guarantees that Islamic terrorism, perhaps apocalyptic given the ever increasing likelihood of a WMD attack, will never be defeated.
- Obama's entire foreign policy, based on fantasy and, we now know, a simple refusal to acknowlede uncomfortable facts, has allowed for the rise of ISIS, an utterly animalistic group that has now have proclaimed a caliphate in the areas of Syria and Iraq where they hold sway. In addition, the ISIS now hold parts of Libya. The ISIS threatens to destabilize other Sunni countries in the already unstable Middle East.
- Obama, who named as one of his many insane, utopian goals, a world without nuclear weapons, has significantly reduced our nuclear arms capacity That nuclear capacity is what has kept the peace in Europe, the Pax Americana, of the past near seventy years.
- Obama unilaterally changed our national defense posture from being able to fight in two theaters of war simultaneously -- our defense posture since WWII -- to being able to fight in one. This was certainly not based on any threat assessment. It was based on his desire to use more of our nations wealth to fund his domestic programs.
- Obama has made "climate change" one of the top priorities of our nation's defense establishment, diverting significant resources from our nation's defense.
- Under Obama, defense spending has become our nation's lowest priority, and, according to a 2015 Heritage Foundation analysis, our military capabilities are significantly declining. Add to that is Obama's decision to use our military to advance the social policies of radical feminists by allowing women into the combat arms without even the pretense of a study to determine how this would effect, let alone enhance, our war fighting capability.
- Obama, who promised in his 2008 campaign and again in his 2012 campaign that he would stop Iran's nuclear program, has broken a sanctions regime that had finally brought the Iranian theocracy to its knees. Iran is the quintessential bad actor in the world. The mad mullahs of Iran have been at war with U.S. interests, and often times the U.S. itself, since almost the first day Iran's theocracy was proclaimed in 1979. The mad mullahs pose the single greatest threat to our and the world's long term security. Yet Obama appears on the cusp of cutting a deal with Iran to allow them to continue their nuclear enrichment - and thus their march towards a nuclear arsenal.
- Obama, by allowing Iran to continue its nuclear program, is igniting a nuclear arms race in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia and other nations start their own nuclear programs for self defense. The only thing more frightening than Iran with nuclear weapons is Iran and the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons.
- Obama, when presented with a rare strategic opportunity during Iran's Green Revolution to perhaps topple or at least alter the trajectory of Iran's bloody and lawless theocracy, wholly ignored the opportunity until the mad mullahs had almost completely regained control.
- Russia has already invaded the Ukraine, and several NATO nations are concerned, probably not unreasonably, that Russia might invade and that NATO, led by the U.S., will not respond.
- North Korea is continuing to build and refine its nuclear arsenal. And its Dear Leader is beating the war drums, telling Army commanders this week to prepare for a Great War of Reunification against the U.S. and South Korea.
- China is rapidly expanding and modernizing its military capabilities far beyond that needed for regional defense. China is also becoming more bellicose and aggressive in its dealings with its neighbors.
The world today is a far more dangerous place for America than it was in 2008, when Obama took office. We can't stop Obama's continued degradation of our national security between now and 2017, but let us hope we can slow it, at least in regards to Iran's march to a nuclear arsenal. Otherwise, our nation will not recover from the damage Obama has done and may yet do.