The blood of the 129 victims in the Paris attack is on President Barack Obama’s hands and is a direct result of his failed policies in Iraq.
The rise of ISIS and its ability to take and hold territory, which is a basic premise of their claim to a caliphate, was a direct result of the precipitous pull out of all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 as ordered by President Obama. Very little analysis was done at that time on the president's justification for the pull out. Most in the mainstream media accepted the rationale offered by the administration that they could not get a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to protect U.S. forces from Iraqi criminal jurisdiction. In fact, a SOFA was in the final stages and could have been finalized if the President had been more patient.
A SOFA and a U.S. stabilization force presence would have facilitated increased CIA and DIA intelligence reporting and offered advance warning about the growth and intentions of ISIS. However, President Obama took the unprecedented move of insisting that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki get parliamentary approval of a SOFA agreement which would have been an impossible political battle that Malaki would have lost. Malaki refused and Obama used that as his justification to pull all forces out, thereby living up to his campaign promise to end the war.
That pull out included a massive downsizing of the single largest consolidation of CIA and DIA intelligence collection resources anywhere in the world since Vietnam. When ISIS took Mosul they seized and held territory then claimed the first Caliphate in 100s of years. President Obama blamed the Director of National Intelligence for missing ISIS growth and capabilities instead of taking responsibility for his administration’s failed policy. It was this failed policy that allowed ISIS to metastasize from the remnants of the Baath Party and what was left of Al Qaida in Iraq after Musab Al Zarqawi was killed.
CIA Director John Brennan says more attacks are likely and that the attack on Paris is not an isolated act. In fact, those who paid attention on Friday the 13th, may have noticed that there was also an attack in Beirut that ISIS has claimed responsibility for, piling on to the two weeks of terror that began with the Russian airliner brought down in the Sinai peninsula.
ISIS is not the jayvee team, as claimed by President Obama. They are not contained as claimed by President Obama. And, at the peril of the entire Western Civilization, it appears that this president seems determined to stay the course on his failed policies when it comes to combating Islamic terrorism around the world, and frighteningly, here at home.
When ISIS terrorists say that “Washington is next,” as they have claimed in a new video, we should believe them. We should take them seriously and respond accordingly.
President Obama should halt all relocation of Syrian refugees into the U.S. immediately and re-evaluate the screening process in light of the Paris attacks. We should offer all available resources to assist with the refugee crisis, but those resources and that assistance should be focused on containing the mass illegal migration before it is too late. The USAID, EU and UNHCR should mobilize to coordinate refugee assistance in the region and set up refugee centers in the diaspora versus letting this continued exodus spread into Europe unchecked.
President Obama must put aside his personal political battles and surround himself with the best non-partisan minds on national security. The U.S. has meaningful pillars of national power and they should be brought together against this enemy. First and foremost, we have to call it what it is: Islamic terrorism. We must use all resources of power including military, economic, cyber, diplomatic, and cultural to launch an all-out assault to defeat this enemy. A strategy of containment and long term degradation of an enemy this nimble, innovative, patient and resourceful is not going to achieve success.
We need to take immediate action to eliminate ISIS as if it were an existential threat to Western Society, because it is.
The following actions should be taken to eliminate ISIS:
- Convene and immediately initiate a full NATO response under Article 5 in support of France’s declaration of war against ISIS
- Convene and lead a United Nations Security Council resolution to use all force necessary to destroy ISIS (Russian or China veto would nullify the need to go any further with the UN)
- Allow Russia the opportunity to join the coalition effort to destroy ISIS with the caveat that after ISIS is destroyed, a peace plan will be worked out that allows Bashir Al Asad to step down
- If Russia refuses, then institute and enforce a multi-national no fly zone over specified areas of operation in Syria and Iraq north of Mosul with notification to Russia
- Lead a coalition of Turkey and unified Sunni Arab nations including Jordan, Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia to amass a standing army of 200,000 conventional troops to destroy ISIS and occupy ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq
- Provide Command and Control, INTEL, Close Air Support, Medevac, and Logistics for the coalition’s efforts
- Leverage and lead the Iraqi central government to reconcile with Iraqi Sunni tribes in the West
- Provide financial incentives to Iraqi Sunni tribes in Al Anbar to join the coalition
- Fully arm the Kurds and Jordanians
- Deploy 5th Special Forces Group to Irbil to fully support the Kurdish and coalition efforts
- Deploy U.S. Airforce fighters and close air support squadrons to Incirlik, Turkey and Amman, Jordan with elements of 720th Special Tactics Group regionally based for additional support
- Deploy a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) to Iraq for added force protection
- Deploy a naval carrier group to the Persian Gulf and off the coast of Lebanon in the Mediterranean Sea
- Forward deploy Special Mission Units from Joint Special Operations Command to target ISIS leadership
- Implement a full Cyber assault on any and all ISIS related servers and all ISPs that allow ISIS related traffic
- Freeze financial assets of any and all banking institutions that allow banking SWIFT transaction linked to ISIS
- Retake Ramadi, Mosul and all oil producing areas under ISIS control and block all ground lines of communication between ISIS strongholds
- Announce a time certain in which Raqqa will be destroyed, allow civilian population time to leave, then destroy the entire city
Businessman and combat veteran Todd Wilcox is running for Republican nomination in the 2016 U.S. Senate race.