Debate Magazine

O Has 'no Sense of What He Wants to Do in the World' Says Military Expert

Posted on the 17 January 2014 by Hughvw
President Obama is “chronically incapable” of military strategy and falls far short of his predecessor George W. Bush, according to one of Britain’s most senior military advisors.
Sir Hew Strachan, an advisor to the Chief of the Defense Staff, told The Daily Beast that the United States and Britain were guilty of total strategic failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Obama’s attempts to intervene on behalf of the Syrian rebels “has left them in a far worse position than they were before.”
The extraordinary critique by a leading advisor to the United States’ closest military ally comes days after Obama was undermined by the former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who questioned the President’s foreign policy decisions and claimed he was deeply suspicious of the military.
Strachan, a current member of the Chief of the Defense Staff’s Strategic Advisory Panel, cited the “crazy” handling of the Syrian crisis as the most egregious example of a fundamental collapse in military planning that began in the aftermath of 9/11. “If anything it’s gone backwards instead of forwards, Obama seems to be almost chronically incapable of doing this. Bush may have had totally fanciful political objectives in terms of trying to fight a global War on Terror... but at least he had a clear sense of what he wanted to do in the world.
The dithering over intervention against President Bashar al-Assad has empowered the Syrian ruler, undermined America’s military reputation and destabilized the Middle East, said Strachan.  “What he’s done in talking about Red Lines in relation to Syria has actually devalued the deterrent effect of American military capability and it seems to me that creates an unstable situation, because if he were act it would surprise everybody,” Strachan said. 

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