Many claimed America was leading from behind in the war on terror. The characterization of Isis as a “jayvee team” was sighted as proof-positive that there was no understanding of who America’s true enemy was. The pullout of American troops from Iraq was confirmation to critics that America’s response to the war on terror was weak, that it signaled to the world that America no longer had the strength of resolve to see the battle through to the end. But then July 9th of this year happened and maybe apologies or I told so’s are appropriate, but at the very least credit must be given where credit is due.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul on Sunday and congratulated the armed forces for their “victory” over Isis after nearly nine months of urban warfare, bringing an end to jihadist rule in the city. Last week nearly three years to the day, the leader of ISIS declared the “caliphate” of Iraq and Syria from the pulpit of Mosul’s Great Mosque of al-Nuri, now the historic structure is back in Iraqi hands.
A military spokesman announced Thursday that Iraqi troops successfully stormed the centuries-old religious landmark, reclaiming the ruins of a building destroyed by ISIS militants last week. Islamic State’s defeat in Mosul three years after taking the city is a major blow for the hardline Sunni Islamist group, which is also losing ground in its operational base in the Syrian city of Raqqa, where it has planned global attacks.
President Trump doesn’t want President Obama to get credit
While I expect any day now to hear President Trump declare the victory, the true credit has to be given to President Barak Hussein Obama. It’s his plan for the defeat of Isis that the military has been deploying for the last 3 years.
President Trump has yet to claim the victory because he has been asking the military to come up with a different plan than President Obama’s, so he could claim the victory under the banner of his own new plan. Military leaders are reluctant to fundamentally change a strategy that appears to be working, according to the Daily Beast, which quoted two US officials and a senior administration official.
The Obama administration’s anti-ISIS plan included nine lines of effort,
including using diplomatic and economic pressure to reduce ISIS’ ability to sustain its rule and spread its ideology. The Obama White House had already stepped up the number of advisers on the ground in Iraq and Syria, and established a special operations task force in Iraq with major outposts in Syria to help guide local forces, as part of the larger coalition effort. Small teams of U.S. forces have embedded with local units and Turkish troops inside Syria, and with Iraqi and Kurdish troops in Iraq to help make them more effective.
Special operators have also launched multiple solo raids that have decimated ISIS’ leadership ranks.
“These figures underscore the fact that the Obama administration waged an aggressive war against ISIS, guided by a comprehensive strategy that put the group on the path to lasting defeat,” said former Obama official Ned Price. “It is no surprise that the Trump administration has largely adopted our strategy despite hallmark bluster from President Trump about a purportedly more aggressive strategy we have yet to see.”
In September of 2014 President Obama speaking to the nation from the White House laid out his plan to “degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIS through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
No more American fighting troops
The most important and most successful outcome of President Obama’s plan are not the victories that it is producing, but the new paradigm principle that it has made the new reality.
That principle is that America will supply all the weapons, air support, logistical support, military training and money needed to defend and maintain peace in the Middle East, but we will no longer supply troops to fight and die. Countries of the Middle East must supply their own troops willing to die for their own freedom, if they won’t why should Americans.
When President Obama first unveiled his plan and the new paradigm shift all the critics said it would be a disaster. That President Obama was raising the flag of surrender and putting the homeland of America at risk, because in order to prevent Isis terrorist from coming to America and carrying out attacks we had to send American troops there to defeat the caliphate.
Isis has not been able to pull off one single Isis directed attack in America since they declared their now defeated caliphate 3 years ago.
It’s crucial President Obama be given credit not for vanity or ego reasons, but so that President Trump who was part of the critics who wrongly criticized the new paradigm, sees that it works. That the send in the kick-ass American military troops paradigm is old and obsolete.
President Obama’s plan shows that American strength can be flexed in non-troop ways, I personally thought it was interesting with all the talk of Obama’s weakness that the strongman tyrant Assad of Syria, waited until weak red line Obama left office and tough-man Donald Trump became President to use chemical weapons again.
Thanks President Obama for having the strength in the face of withering criticism to stay the course, thereby showing the nation and world that there is a better American life-saving way to exert American power. Let’s hope that President Trump puts pride and ego aside and follow the new paradigm, preventing Americans from dying for a foreign country’s freedom and a false sense of homeland security.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective into current events. Drop by his blog for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.