Does anyone in the Obama administration recognize that we are at war? And… that it’s about to get a whole lot uglier?
In recent weeks, while everyone in the media and the national security communities were talking about “ransom” paid to Iran in exchange for the prisoners release — except myself and a few other asymmetric practitioners, it’s virtually impossible to find anyone who’s trying to figure out how to win the potential major conflict, if not a world war that we may be facing. Tied to this critical concern, are the two keystones of the enemy alliance, which are Russia and Iran partnership regionally and the Obama administration itself – which, since day-one via its bogus Hillary Clinton ‘Russian Reset’ deal or the failure to fully back and implement the ‘Green Revolution’ uprising against the regime in Iran — has no will to resist the increased influence and threat of Russia itself. Whether it’s Russians’ menacing moves against Ukraine or the Iranian and Russia alliance’s activities and actions against in us Syria as well as across the Middle East.
The moves are on the chessboard, sometimes kinetic and sometimes psychological warfare.
Like a chess game, we are in the early stages in which maneuver establishes the array of forces that will govern the rest of the game. Russia’s deployment of air and naval forces to Syria stole a march on the Obama administration. Its swaying of Turkey, which last year was downing Russian aircraft, is stealing another. Its deployment of bombers and advanced strike aircraft to Iran is another. That last appears to be in a state of renegotiation, as Ledeen notes, but that too is probably for show. The Iranians have too much to gain in terms of security for their nuclear program, at least until they’ve had time to build their own air force.
Iran is making strategic moves as well; look for a minute at the “Shi’ite Freedom Army,” a kind of Iranian Foreign Legion that intends to field five divisions of between twenty and twenty-five thousand men each. This clandestine special operations force is now operating across the Middle East in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and Djibouti. Overall command of this organization belong to Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Suliemani, currently a major figure in the assault on Mosul, in Iraq, having recovered from his injury in Syria commanding Iranian-backed militia in the war there. The fact of his freedom of movement is itself a Russian-Iranian demonstration that they will not be governed by international law: Suliemani is under international travel bans for his assassination plot against world diplomats, but was received in Moscow and now travels freely throughout the northern Middle East.
Turkey, meanwhile, has been effectively cut off by Iran’s and Russia’s success in the opening game of this global chess match. As late as the Ottoman Empire, the Turks looked south through Iran and Iraq to power bases as far away as Arabia. Now the Ayatollahs are going to control a crescent of territory from Afghanistan’s borders to the Levant (the Levant is the name applied widely to the eastern Mediterranean coastal lands of modern-day Turkey, Syria, Israel and Lebanon to the border with Egypt), leaving the Turks locked out. One might have expected the Turks to respond by doubling their sense of connection to Europe and NATO. Instead, the purge following the alleged coup attempt is cementing an Islamist control that leaves the Turks looking toward a world from which they are largely separated by the power of this newly developing Russian-Iranian alliance. The Turks seem to be drifting toward joining that alliance because being a part of that alliance will preserve their ties to the Islamic world.
For now, the Obama administration seems intentionally blind to the fact that these moves are closing off America’s position in the Middle East. Might I say deliberately. This is not a new policy, it began immediately upon the Obama administration taking office in 2009. At that time, Obama directed the CIA to sever its ties to Iranian opposition groups in order to avoid giving aid to the Green revolution. As we saw back then, the revolution failed, thousands of the opposition leaders, surrogates and supporters were jailed or executed. The Obama administration’s negotiation of last year’s disastrous “Iran deal” has led to Iran testing new ballistic missiles and receiving major arms shipments from Russia. Yet while all these moves keep being made around them, the Obama administration proceeds as if this were still just an attempt to crush the Islamic State (ISIS). Regionally, the commander of the U.S. 18th Airborne Corps, Ft. Bragg, NC has been given a task that amounts to helping the Iranians win. Our incoherent policy has left us on both sides in Syria with now set course or strategic plan for the region. Our only real ally in the conflict, the Kurds, continue to stand abandoned by America, as ordered by Mr. Obama.
Who is even thinking about how to win the war? Will the legacy of the Obama administration be a shattered NATO, a Turkey drawn into Russia’s orbit, an Iranian hegemony over the northern Middle East, and a resurgent Russia? It is certainly shaping up that way. Once again, Russia is playing chess while the U.S. is playing checkers. As I have continued to say for the last five years. The absence of a coherent governing strategy is glaring. America is on the cusp of extinction as the leader of the remaining free world. An Obama Third Term under Hillary Clinton will be the “Death Nail” for America and Freedom – there will be nowhere else to turn.