Newspaper article The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Byline: J.D. Gordon, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
So 2011 has come and gone - yet another bleak chapter in our national security outlook under President Obama. Considering that we have a president who made it a point to apologize for our superpower status, the notion that he would somehow weaken the country should not be surprising. After all, he's only matching his words with deeds.
The Obama administration naturally would dispute this assertion, citing the elimination of al Qaeda icons Osama bin Laden via SEAL Team 6 in Pakistan and U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki via drone strike in Yemen. True, both moves were bold, and the president deserves credit for making those tough decisions. However, in the grand scheme of things, targeted killings of terrorist leaders are more a series of one-offs than a comprehensive strategy to strengthen our national security.
Contrary to the narrative carefully woven by the current administration, the list is long in ways that Mr. Obama has weakened America this year. Let's look at five specific reasons:
Incoherent strategy for the Arab Spring: The helter-skelter approach of supporting whichever protest movements he thought would win has led to the ouster of friendly governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen while we ignore a long-term adversary in Syria. Hard-line Islamists are prevailing at the ballot box - meaning hostile anti-U.S., anti-Israel regimes likely will be the new normal. And while Libya's Col. Moammar Gadhafi was summarily executed by a mob - made possible through more than a billion U.S. taxpayer dollars spent to crush his military, there's no telling if the new government will be able to provide long-term stability without massive Western aid.
Complete withdrawal from Iraq: Fulfilling a campaign promise, Mr. Obama has proudly brought the troops home. Failing to negotiate a status-of-forces agreement for our military with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki beyond 2011, Mr. Obama decided to leave Iraq's future up to fate. This leaves a power vacuum, much to Iran's delight. Not surprisingly, sectarian violence is rocking the country again. Mr. al-Maliki's Shiite-led government wasted little time in going after the minority Sunnis, issuing an arrest warrant for Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. Now that both the Sunni-led regime of Saddam Hussein and U.S. forces are out of the picture, it's only a matter of time before Shiite-led Iraq and Shiite-led Iran become strategic partners - and our adversaries.
Undermining nuclear superiority: Squandering advantages in our nuclear strength championed by President Reagan and maintained since, Mr. …