What’s needed to confront its nihilistic vision and genocidal agenda is a global coalition using political, humanitarian, economic, law enforcement and intelligence tools to support military force. – Secretary John Kerry
AFTER A confusing press conference at the end of the week that now has President Obama, unfortunately, deciding to attack the media, always a weak position for any president, Secretary John Kerry elaborates on the unfolding strategy taking shape behind the scenes. The sausage making of diplomacy is never pretty, but when it surrounds the United States demanding world nations involve themselves if we are to more fully engage on IS it gets even uglier.
That seems to be the pound of flesh President Obama intends to exact. Demanding world involvement for any commitment of support from the United States, something that is excellent in theory, but in practice has always come cheap for allies, while we always pay the price.
Americans are sick of being the Big Dog on the World Block for good reasons.
The question then must be asked, is President Obama willing to do whatever it takes to confront IS in the absence of widespread support, since the case Kerry is making demands putting down these savages?
It will be interesting to watch to see how this develops and the ultimate outcome of the ultimatum that the Administration is laying forth.
Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham quickly criticized Obama’s alleged “dithering” on IS, which formalized it’s non-state “Islamic State” status since 2013 when they were only known as ISIS, after Obama threatened to strike Syria then pulled back after watching Prime Minister David Cameron‘s parliamentary defeat.
After struggling for an Obama doctrine it seems the President might have tripped upon it. If the world wants U.S. full participation and commitment, other nations will have to bring something to the table first, with a global effort amassed and a consensus presented simultaneously.
The inherent threat is that if world leaders drag their feet, President Obama is prepared to wait them out, considering the “clear and present danger” threat to the U.S. is not in play, at least not yet.
From Secretary John Kerry we get a wider sense of where the Administration is heading, something that was critical to outline after President Obama’s ill-timed gaffe that “we don’t have a strategy yet” set off a firestorm.
Next week, on the sidelines of the NATO summit meeting in Wales, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and I will meet with our counterparts from our European allies. The goal is to enlist the broadest possible assistance. Following the meeting, Mr. Hagel and I plan to travel to the Middle East to develop more support for the coalition among the countries that are most directly threatened.
The United States will hold the presidency of the United Nations Security Council in September, and we will use that opportunity to continue to build a broad coalition and highlight the danger posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including those who have joined ISIS. During the General Assembly session, President Obama will lead a summit meeting of the Security Council to put forward a plan to deal with this collective threat.
In this battle, there is a role for almost every country. Some will provide military assistance, direct and indirect. Some will provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance for the millions who have been displaced and victimized across the region. Others will help restore not just shattered economies but broken trust among neighbors. This effort is underway in Iraq, where other countries have joined us in providing humanitarian aid, military assistance and support for an inclusive government.