Jack Kelly: Obama administration's foreign policy in ruins

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"We've blunted the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan," President Barack Obama said in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention Sept. 6. "Al-Qaida is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead."

Five days later, on 9/11/2012, Islamists murdered our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans and destroyed our consulate in Benghazi. In an attack on our embassy in Cairo the same day, the mob pulled down the American flag, burned it and raised the black flag of al-Qaida on the embassy flagstaff.

Al-Qaida also was behind attacks on our embassy in Yemen Sept. 13 and Tunisia Sept. 14, said Thomas Joscelyn of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Some "path to defeat."

Al-Qaida is back in Afghanistan and is teaming up with the Taliban, said CBS correspondent Lara Logan. Taliban guerrillas destroyed eight Marine Harrier jump jets Sept. 14, our largest loss of warplanes since the Vietnam war. Joint operations were halted temporarily after two British and four American soldiers were killed by their Afghan "allies." Afghan soldiers killed two more Americans after joint operations resumed last week.

"We're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign. But we're not willing to be murdered for it," Gen. John Allen, the U.S. commander, told Ms. Logan in an interview broadcast Sept. 30.

The Taliban is stronger than ever, the Pentagon told Congress in a report in April. American officials have written off hope of battering the Taliban into accepting a peace deal, a "cornerstone" of Obama administration policy, The New York Times reported Oct. 1.

"The war is adrift, and it's hard to see how anyone can avoid a complete disaster at this point," said Southwest Asia expert Joshua Foust.

If this is "blunting the Taliban's momentum," I'd hate to see what a Taliban surge looks like.

The war in Iraq was won before Barack Obama became president. But his diplomatic blunders and premature withdrawal of all U.S. troops have put that victory in jeopardy, the chief military correspondent of The New York Times said in a book published last month.

At the Democratic convention, the president said nothing about Iran, or about Middle East peace talks.

Iran will have enough weapons grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb "within two to four months," a U.S. think tank estimated Monday.

Mr. Obama's tilt toward the Palestinians has produced only an escalation of their demands.

The administration responded to the 9/11/2012 attacks with lies and a cover-up. Officials knew within 24 hours al-Qaida was behind the attack on the consulate, but insisted for more than a week it was a spontaneous protest generated by anger over a video.

Security at the consulate was "robust," said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She knew it wasn't. "Physical security was so substandard at the Benghazi consulate that it required a waiver," signed by her, Fox News reported Sept. 28.

Just weeks before the attacks, despite the protests of Ambassador Chris Stevens, the State Department withdrew two security teams from Libya.

"We tried show them how dangerous and how volatile and just unpredictable that whole environment was over there," Lt. Col. Andy Wood, who headed a Special Forces Site Security Team, told CBS News. "So to decrease security in the face of that is ... just unbelievable."

A cover-up is in progress, career intelligence officers tell him, investigative reporter Bill Gertz wrote Oct. 5.

Claims of progress in Afghanistan are a "major lie," Ms. Logan said in a speech in Chicago last week.

Politics has precedence over America's security in the Obama administration. Senior White House aides leaked sensitive intelligence to make Mr. Obama look good. His incessant "victory laps" put a bull's-eye on the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden. After the collapse of the president's foreign policy, the only administration strategy in evidence is the effort to conceal the harm that's been done, and the negligence that contributed to it.

Mr. Obama and his aides lack competence and integrity, but have plenty of chutzpah. On the eve of Mitt Romney's foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute Monday, Team Obama ran ads on local television stations claiming it's Mr. Romney who is "reckless" and "amateurish" on foreign policy.


Jack Kelly is a columnist for The Press and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio. jkelly@post-gazette.com, 412 263-1476. This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/


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