Scarborough: Obama saying he has no strategy against ISIS is a tactic straight out of “The Art of War”

posted at 3:21 pm on August 29, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Ace, who notes that this is part of a broader “Morning Joe” narrative lately that imagines Obama as some sort of warrior-poet whose endless golfing and fundraising demonstrates imperturbable resolve in the face of terror. Same with the “we don’t have a strategy” line at yesterday’s press conference. Maybe that was just a Clausewitzian ploy contrived to get ISIS to lower its guard before O rolls out his devastating, multi-point plan to tighten the noose. It’s possible.

Also possible: This guy really doesn’t have a strategy.

His remarks came after days of heated debate inside the top levels of his own national security bureaucracy about how, where, and whether to strike ISIS in Syria. But those deliberations – which included a bleak intelligence assessment of America’s potential allies in Syria — failed to produce a consensus battle plan

Those inside the administration advocating for going after ISIS in both Iraq and Syria were sorely disappointed – and lamented their boss’s lack of urgency in rooting out a threat that only days before was being described in near-apocalyptic terms…

To many outside the administration who have worked on Syria and the ISIS problem, Obama’s decision not to decide on a broader course of action will have negative implications for the war against ISIS. The administration raised expectations about altering its three-year policy of avoiding intervention in Syria, before Obama dashed those expectations Thursday.

Follow the last link and read all of Josh Rogin’s and Eli Lake’s piece to get a sense of just how sour the administration is these days about working with “moderates” in Syria. The intel community, the Pentagon, and the White House itself all seem to have concluded that the Free Syrian Army is not an option at this point; there are a few brigades here and there that get western support but nothing too robust lest those weapons end up being turned over to ISIS or some other jihadist group. Reading that makes Rand Paul’s op-ed yesterday slamming interventionism in Syria feel even more bizarre. The White House basically agrees with him: The risk that taking sides in Syria will backfire means we shouldn’t meddle much there. What exactly is Paul’s grievance with this policy again?

Exit question: Which chapter of “The Art of War” mentions dithering on whether or not to rescue a hostage who later ends up being murdered by the enemy?


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

The best move our President Obama can make on foreign-policy is to go directly to Mr. Bush’s residence in Texas and beg him for advice as to how to win the war in Iraq. He should then make a direct apology to him for irrationally pulling all of our troops out of Iraq. After making several tear-jerking apologies to Mr. Bush for fragmenting and destroying America’s foreign-relations with most of the other countries, (Some of which are actually friendly to the United States !,) maybe they can get together, act as a team, and straighten out this series of major military mistakes President Obama has made.

Bugdust172 on August 31, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Is it just possible he rather favors how things are going in the region? He has evidenced both sympathies and antagonisms that at the least wouldn’t contradict that.

arand on August 31, 2014 at 11:13 AM

I’d be willing to accept this if there were a single shred of evidence that Obaka had even heard of Sun Tzu.

PXCharon on August 31, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Scarborough has sat next to Mika for so long he is now thinking like her.

Truth; 0bama has checked out. He is readying himself for the ‘Art Of Choom’ once his retirement is official. He never expected to be president and certainly is not a good match for the assignment.

FireBlogger on August 31, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I love how the liberals have to come out after Obama speaks and tell us what he REALLY meant. This one from Joe Scarborogh is the best. No, Joe, he is not using the “Art of War” play book – he really means he has not yet set a policy on the ISIS and ISIL because he does not consider them to a threat so he is waiting until they are a threat before setting the policy. That way, if they never become a bit threat, well, he does not have to have the plan. This is exactly what he meant!

evie1949 on September 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Scarborough: “Obama admitting he is a moron is a genius move.”

RedManBlueState on September 2, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3