Why Obama’s ‘Don’t Have a Strategy’ Comment on ISIS was Exactly What He Should Have Said

obama-isis-1Sometimes I just sit back in awe of how ridiculous people can be. I get that I’m somewhat part of the “media” and a large part of what I do is dissecting comments made by politicians. But like with most everything I do in life, I try to take emotion out of it and see things in a “bigger picture” sort of way.

But when it comes to our politicians, it’s amazing how people can so grossly overreact on certain things. Which is partially the media’s fault.

Take, for instance, President Obama’s recent comments during a press conference (the now infamous tan suit one) where he said “we don’t have a strategy yet” to handle ISIS.

The moment I heard him say those words I knew the right-wing media were going to have a field day. Which is exactly what happened. And like Republicans often do, they’ve made absolute fools out of themselves following his statement.

Because guess what? It’s a good thing President Obama doesn’t yet have a strategy. You know why? Because ISIS is a very complex and dangerous situation. 

At this point, what “strategy” do they want from him? Sending tens of thousands of ground troops back into Iraq? I think it’s pretty obvious by now that he’s trying to avoid doing that at all costs.

And that still doesn’t address the fact that ISIS would still have a strong foothold in Syria. Pushing them out of Iraq would only be a temporary fix, because Syria is the real root of the problem.

But getting ISIS out of Iraq would require thousands of American men and women being sent there to get it done. And at this point, after over a decade at war, any president should be hesitant to put more of our brave men and women in harm’s way unless they absolutely have to.

Though, again, that still leaves the issue of Syria. Like it or not, it’s still a sovereign nation. You want to see absolute chaos? Let’s “pull an Iraq” and try to invade Syria.

So, should we arm Syrian rebels? Okay… which ones? Because there are an estimated 1,000 or so different rebel groups in Syria. Good luck finding out which ones are the “good guys.”

Oh, I know, let’s work with Bashar al-Assad. That’s what we should do, right? Work with a dictator who used chemical weapons on his own people last year. You know, the whole “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” kind of thing. Yeah, real good idea.

That was sarcasm by the way.

Or we can do what I believe President Obama is actually attempting to do. That is, trying to get other nations (specifically Muslim ones) in the region to get on board with some kind of a collaborative plan to handle ISIS. Because that’s ultimately the best strategy.

The United States “going it alone” again in Iraq (and possibly Syria) would ultimately be a disaster. The best thing for us to do is get some of these other nations in the region (many of whom don’t like one another) to work with each other, as well as with us, to deal with ISIS.

Because without some kind of organized and coordinated effort by some of these Muslim nations in the region, we have a few “simple” choices:

  • Completely ignore it.
  • Limit ourselves to only airstrikes.
  • Send in ground troops to push ISIS out of Iraq.
  • Bomb targets in Syria.
  • Send troops into Syria.

And guess what? None of those are intelligent solutions for dealing with ISIS.

I would much rather President Obama say that we don’t currently have a strategy, while he’s working tirelessly to formulate the best one possible, than for him to come out with some thrown together “plan” that ultimately won’t accomplish much of anything.

The airstrikes he ordered are buying him time right now to come up with the most sound, and logical, strategy to deal with the very real threat of ISIS. Because when it comes to the lives of our men and women in uniform, and putting those lives at risk, nothing should be done half-assed.

Because I think we all remember what happened the last time we had a president get us involved in serious military operations without any kind of real plan.

Nearly 4,500 Americans died and over a decade later we’re still having to clean up the mess.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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