Obama World: The 4th option
In 2000, Vince Flynn wrote The Third Option, a novel about how the U.S. might deal with radical Islam. In order of likely use by our government, he listed three options: Diplomacy, Conventional Warfare, and use of Special Operations. The latter is to use highly-trained assassins to capture, interrogate, and/or kill radical Islamist leaders such as Osama bin Laden and others.
Has diplomacy worked? Well, we are still being attacked by suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices (IED). Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Vladimir Putin, and the Muslim world still hate us. The Arab Spring turned into the radical Islamist Winter. The Palestinians are still shelling Israel. The U.N. almost always votes against us. Many of our old allies are now neutrals. Mr. Obama’s current “follow-rather-than-lead” foreign policy is sending our traditional allies in search of more reliable protection from Islam, from Russia, and from Red China.
The 2d Option: Conventional Warfare (Infantry, Armor, Artillery, and Airpower) quickly wiped out Saddam Hussein’s conventional forces. But radical Islam replaced Saddam’s conventional forces with unconventional forces which were not impressed with more voting booths, better sanitation, electricity, medical care, votes-for-women, and schools. So, we fled what Mr. Obama called the “bad war” in Iraq for what he called the “good war” in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, the Special Operators who so quickly routed the Taliban/al-Qaeda in Afghanistan were replaced with Conventional Warfare forces which, once again, do not do well against the unconventional Islamist forces that are trying to expel the Judeo-Christian Crusaders from the Graveyard of Empires.
The 3d Option is to field a relatively small force of highly-trained assassins to find the leaders of radical Islam and…well, assassinate them. While the 3d Option has already been used with positive impact on scores of radical Islamists – the most notable being Osama bin Laden – the 3d Option causes some moral, ethical, and constitutional problems for some on the Left who think in terms of a Disney World where all the woodland animals -- instead of eating each other -- sit side-by-side on a long log singing “We Are the World.” Moreover, the 3d Option doesn’t seem to them as sportsmanlike as sending thousands of young Americans off to fight while trying to observe the Rules of Engagement of Conventional Warfare.
The Obama Administration just published its new defense strategy. Let’s call it: the 4th Option. It reduces our Army and Marines forces by 13-percent. It cuts the defense budget in half. It abandons the concept of defending the USA on both our Atlantic and Pacific sides and focuses only on the Asia-Pacific area. Memo to Enemy: Only attack us in the Asia-Pacific area. Memo to Pentagon: A strategy that depends on enemy cooperation is bound to fail.
Option 4 is ambivalent as to whether the Navy can operate 11 carriers or just ten. It proposes to eliminate the F-16, F-18, and Harrier fighter-jets and replace them with the F-35 fighter which the new defense strategy admits we may not be able to afford in the numbers we need.
But the most disturbing aspect of Mr. Obama’s 4th option is rhetoric that envisions a force that is more reflective of the racial, ethnic, and gender mix of American society than ever before. This suggests a military force where politically-correct politics are more likely to win promotion to flag rank than demonstrated war-fighting proficiency.
At this point, it might be well to remember the words of George Orwell: “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2012. William Hamilton.
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