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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Biden Humiliated By Turkey

Link: A. Biden Looking Foolish In Turkey
          B. Taliban On The Move

Please read the links before going any further.  I don't want to repeat the details which are included, and they are essential to the discussion today.  These two links bring the cold hard truth home to our doorstep.  Our foreign policy is a complete failure; and utter disaster.  I can't recall a foreign policy this opaque, weak, and self-defeating in the 238-year history of our Republic.  Vice President Joe Biden, unable to sit still for five minutes because in his mind he should be president, continues to expand the traditional role of the office.  Maybe I shouldn't blame Crazy Uncle Joe.  Instead of making the trip to Turkey himself, President Obama continued his weekly diet of executive actions, golf, and fund-raising.  After Biden insulted Turkish President Erdogan last month (and screwed up the less-than publicized apology which was only reported on Foxnews), he was the last person who should have making a trip to Turkey.  It provided all the U.S.-hating groups, including the one who abused our sailors last month, with an opportunity to take to the streets and protest this Great Satan.  The Turkish press had a field day.  And as usual, Crazy Uncle Joe had no clue what was going on, returning back to the United States to report that the trip had been a "tremendous success".  While Biden was describing his diplomatic coup to anyone who would listen (CNN, NPR, MSNBC, CNBC, and CBS, who combined don't equal the audience of Foxnews), Erdogan was openly and pointedly spewing egregious insults to the United States.  Erdogan stated that Turkey was "against impertinence, recklessness, and endless demands".  "Why is someone coming to this region from 12,000 kilometers away?", Erdogan asked rhetorically to a meeting of Turkish businessmen in Ankara.  The U.S. Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey has been denied permission to fly sorties against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq.  This makes the operation that much more expensive and complicated.  The Turks refused to allow the use of Incirlik during Operation Enduring Freedom as well, and President Bush was the first leader to bend over and touch toes for Erdogan.  What I would give for a leader in the White House! Ronald Reagan would have told the Turks that if you won't let us use our Air Base, then we will shut it.  No more rent, no more financial support to the local economy, no more U.S. military families supporting the Turkish tourist industry, and most important, no more sales of F16s or spare parts to the Turkish Air Force.  Instead, we allow tin-horn dictators like Putin, Erdogan and Assad to determine our foreign policy.  Erdogan had plenty of opportunities to intervene militarily in Syria and remove Assad before the beginning of the current anti-Islamic State air campaign.  Instead of facing the music for his lack of nerve, he just kicks more sand I our face. 

The Taliban is alive and well and establishing a military presence in Kabul.  Historically, this is the first step towards turning the capital city into a urban war zone, which will allow the Taliban, who are much more comfortable with guerilla-type tactics, to occupy the city one house, one street, one neighborhood at a time.  Before the Soviets departed in 1980, they installed a puppet government in Kabul which was supported by a reasonably sized and well-equipped army.  The fear was that this Soviet-back government was going to keep control of some of the larger cities while the Mujahideen took over the rest of the country.  Events didn't play out as expected, as the Mujahideen (we call them "The Taliban" nowadays) moved into the cities and began a campaign of destabilization of authority.  It happened so quickly that the Russians had no opportunity to evacuate the majority of their remaining resources in Kabul.  Deja vu, folks, deja vu.  The U.S. troops left in Afghanistan are under instructions to complete training assignments with the Afghan Army and also to protect remaining U.S. Bases as resources are evacuated back to Europe and the United States.  Is there any question that a year or so after the last U.S. soldier departs, the Taliban will be back in power?  Not to me there isn't.  President Obama will then have the honor of proudly declaring both Afghanistan and Iraq "free of the U.S. military".  Just how much does this guy hate the military? 

As for December 2014, Iraq is embroiled in a conflict against Islamic extremists, and the only real military support is coming from Iran.  The Iranians never met a vacuum that they didn't fill.  All the positive developments from Operation Enduring Freedom are either gone or in jeopardy.  Afghanistan is producing poppies for drug production again like nobodies business.  It is estimated that the Islamic State is benefitting financially from the opium trade.  While Iraq and the Kurds fight for survival against the Islamic State, and Syria continues to be ground zero for Islamic State strategic successes, the United States continues to lead an air campaign (with the support of the Saudis, the UAE, and Qatar) that is beginning to appear ineffectual.  As highlighted by a recent post, the Islamic State is so fat in resources that it has started the process of expansion into north Africa.  By the way, are we still training the New Syrian Army?  Has anyone heard an update recently?  I've been waiting patiently for some clarification on the alleged "defensive posture only" intentions of this army which is being trained and equipped by the U.S. taxpayer.

What is our foreign policy and military strategy in Syria?  Iraq?  What about Afghanistan?  When the Taliban retakes the country and all the teachers are shot, the little schoolgirls beaten and the schools burned to the ground, will we establish diplomatic relations with the Taliban?  What are we trying to achieve with the air campaign in Syria?  if we destroy the Islamic State, Bashir al-Assad and his recently refurbished army and air force will retake the country.  Putin will be thrilled, but is that in our best interest?  With regards to Turkey, will the administration have any response to the public insults, the physical assault of our sailors, and anti-U.S. speeches and demonstrations?

I invite any defender of this administration to address these questions here on my blog.  You will have the same amount of space that I use, and you will see no rebuttal for the entire day.  Please come and explain what we can expect in the next two years in the way of diplomacy.  And help us understand what exactly is going on with the New Syrian Army and the billions being spent to stand it up.  Have we written off Iraq and Afghanistan?  If not, what are our diplomatic options and initiatives to protect the freedoms and rights that the people of Iraq and Afghanistan have been able to enjoy for the past few years?  Those rights and freedoms were obtained with the blood and sweat of U.S. soldiers.  Doesn't that give us some equity in the evolving situation?      

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