Two Ways the Obama Administration is Sabotaging the Defense of America


Wesley Smith

October 18, 2016

6 min read

National Security



Too often the policies and the narrative of the Obama Administration represent a serious break from reality.  In an effort to convince conniving and violent enemies that we are peace-loving, as if that would make a difference to them, we sabotage the defense of our nation.  Whether it is placing arbitrary limits on our military’s use of force, telegraphing in advance to our enemies what we will or will not do to defeat them, or just plain political correctness in overdrive---we place the security of our homeland in great jeopardy.  Law enforcement, which now is usually our first line of defense against terrorism, is being held in check by an Administration that is seemingly suspicious of law enforcement and ungrateful for the dangerous work they do in order to keep us safe.  Reports indicate morale in law enforcement and in the military is at an all-time low.  Advertently or inadvertently, the Obama Administration is sabotaging the defense of our country in at least two ways.

1. Ignoring the Nature of the Enemy We Face

If you believe the Obama Administration’s narrative, there is a threat out there, but it has nothing to do with Islam.  Sure, there are terror organizations in the world.  And there have been numerous attacks in the United States, as recently as the pressure cooker bombs in New York and New Jersey, the mall shootings in Minnesota, the Orlando and San Bernardino massacres, to name a few. And we still live, after all these years, in the poignant aftermath of the attacks of 9-11 where over 3,000 people died. But it is pure coincidence that the perpetrators of each of these attacks were Muslim and claimed to do their horrific deeds in the name of radical jihad.  And, incidentally, all of the groups taking up arms against the United States---ISIS, Al Qaeda, al Shabaab, al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, to name a few---the fact they are all Muslim is just coincidental, according to the Obama Administration.  How ironic that they all seem to yell “Allahu akbar” (God is great) when they attack. This is the ongoing narrative of the present administration.

It is a fact that most Muslims are peace-loving people who wish no harm to anyone.  American Muslims are generally as patriotic as any other group of religious people in America. However, the fact is indisputably clear that our chief adversaries who continue to commit violent acts not only abroad, but here at home as well, all claim Islam as their faith. They also claim Islam is their motivation and their mandate for these acts of mayhem and murder. This is the reality in which all of us live.

It was under this Administration that infiltrating and surveilling of specific mosques, university student centers and Muslim nonprofit organizations as potential centers of radicalization was stopped.  Under pressure from Muslim advocacy groups, training materials for the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), the FBI and other federal agencies were purged from any references to Islamic terrorism or jihad. At the ACLJ, we’ve filed a FOIA request demanding answers about this policy change that fails to prepare our defense and intelligence communities for the enemies we face.  The pressure-cooker bomber in New York had been on the FBI’s watch list and was even reported by his father for suspicion of being radicalized.  Nothing was done because they did not want to appear to be singling out Ahmad Rahami just because he was Muslim.  The President refuses to even utter the words radical Jihadists, because “jihad” is an Arabic term used in Islam and appears in the Quran.  Meanwhile, the government warns us of the dangers of lone wolf attacks.  These lone wolves are more than that; they are actually part of a wolf pack: Islamic jihadists.  We are told if we “see something, say something.”  If only the Obama Administration would follow their own advice and simply say something by naming the enemy whose goal is to  destroy us.

But like the ubiquitous late night television commercials, we must say: “But wait!  There’s more.”  Our national defense is also put at risk by this Administration in the following way:

2. Capitulating to Aggression by China and Russia

The Obama White House has barred the Pentagon from using a key phrase in references to China and Russia.  Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Admiral John Richardson, the highest-ranking sailor as Chief of Naval Operations, have often spoken of a return to “the great power of competition” when speaking of the aggressive and illegal grabs for power, influence and terrain committed by these two countries.  The president’s hand-selected National Security Council (whose makeup I referred to in a previous post) has directed the Pentagon to strike that phrase from their speeches and to find a term that is less insulting and inflammatory.  The Administration believes that phrases like “great power competition” incorrectly implies that we are at odds with Russia and China. 

Really?  Are we not fundamentally at odds with China selling ballistic missile technology to Iran and claiming new territory in international waters?  Do we not have fundamental moral differences with Russia which  at this moment bombs innocent civilians, hospitals and aid workers in Syria, or who threatens the sovereignty and safety of Ukraine, as well as our NATO partners? Are there not striking distinctions between the United States and Russia, which  has harassed U.S. aircraft in international airspace and threatened to shoot down our planes in Syria?  Bryan McGrath, a retired Navy officer and naval expert quoted in Navy Times, said: The (Obama Administration’s) “explanation is an exercise in nuance and complexity chosen by the administration to provide maximum flexibility, to prevent them from committing to a real structural approach to the most important national security challenge of our time.”

The Obama Administration objects to the Secretary of Defense’s clear message who, speaking to the Economic Forum, stated: “...we must demonstrate to potential foes that, if they start a war, we have the capability to win.” Carter, in speaking of Russia and China, also said they have “a growing arsenal of high-end war-fighting capabilities, many of which are focused specifically on our vulnerabilities.”

One of our chief vulnerabilities is a Commander-in-Chief who appears to be more concerned with not offending our adversaries and protecting his perceived legacy than the defense of our country “from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” as he swore in his Oath of Office.  Advertently or inadvertently, his worldview and his timid response to those who wish us harm is sabotaging  our national defense.

We deserve better.  And our national security demands it.