Debate Club

Obama Got Bin Laden, but Other Threats Have Grown

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Bin Laden and many of his followers were eliminated on President Obama's watch, but other threats to national security have grown more dangerous.

  • Relations with Pakistan are at an all-time low over the Predator drone strikes, moving the country more emphatically in the direction of Islamist extremism.
  • Afghanistan is more unstable and has much less prospect for a good outcome than it did before Obama's arrival because of mixed signals on the numbers and length of stay of US troops.
  • Obama's failure to extend the Bush-era Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq has squandered our hard-won gains and placed the country firmly in Iran's embrace.
  • By abandoning Mubarak, Obama has seen Egypt, the demographic giant of the Arab Muslim world, go from a problematic ally to a dangerously hostile regime led by the Muslim Brotherhood—the well spring of Islamist fundamentalism.
  • Obama facilitated regime change in Libya, where Qadhafi was no threat to the U.S., but he opposes it in Syria, where Assad has actively attacked U.S. interests from the start of his regime.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

  • Iran is closer to having a nuclear bomb than when Obama took office. Inexplicably, he recognized the "Islamic Republic" and refused to support the Green movement protests after the stolen election of 2009; continued to rely on sanctions the U.S. Intelligence community says have not slowed its nuclear program in the least; and has publicly lectured and sought to embarrass the Netanyahu government, while openly divulging details of Israeli preemptive strike planning against Iran's nuclear sites.
  • Obama's "re-set" of relations with Russia has yielded nothing of practical value (they still provide cover for Syria and Iran). By reneging on the missile shield agreement with the Poles and Czechs, and whispering in the Russian president's ear about having "more flexibility" on watering-down U.S. capabilities, Obama made the U.S. look gullible and duplicitous in the eyes of disenchanted former close allies.
  • Most critically, Obama has added more debt in one term of office (projected at nearly $6 trillion) than Bush did in two ($4.9 trillion), and has shown no inclination to arrest its growth. As a result, all branches of the military face what both Bob Gates and Leon Panetta have called "devastating" cutbacks, America's preeminence in manned space flight was brought to an end, and China is using its growing economic capacity to purchase influence around the world through development projects that were once the hallmark of American soft power.

Any talk of safety and security without addressing these issues is self-delusion.

Edward A. Turzanski

About Edward A. Turzanski National Security Analyst at La Salle University

Tags
Obama, Barack
foreign policy
Obama administration

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