Thursday, September 18, 2014

Obama's Strange Choice to Lead the U.S. Operation Against ISIS

By Robert Wenzel

For the record.

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano writes:
In another deceptive move, Obama announced on Monday that the operation against ISIS, whether authorized by Congress or not, will be directed by retired Marine Corps General John Allen. This is a novel use of government assets, as Allen is no longer a part of the Pentagon and thus not subject to the military chain of command. Apparently, the president does not trust his military advisers, whose advice he has repeatedly rejected, to run his war. Is the White House planning to run this war directly as LBJ did in Vietnam? Is the State Department? How can a civilian who is not the president command military troops?
Technically, Obama has appointed him Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (Islamic State in Syria and the Levant).

 Philip Sherwell at The Telegraph reports:
John Allen, 60, a former chief of Nato forces in Afghanistan and commander of US troops in western Iraq, is a respected military thinker, both cerebral and hawkish, who has urged President Barack Obama to “eradicate” Isil...

"The Islamic State (IS) is an entity beyond the pale of humanity and it must be eradicated,” he wrote for the Defence One website last month. “If we delay now, we will pay later.
“Make no mistake, the abomination of IS is a clear and present danger to the US. The only question really is whether the US and its allies and partners will act decisively now while they can still shape events to destroy IS, an act that seems increasingly self-obvious.”..

Frederick Hof, the former State Department special envoy on Syria, praised the appointment as “the best indication yet that the Obama administration takes this undertaking seriously and intends to see it through”...

Mr Hof, a senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Centre for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council think-tank, told The Telegraph... “His appointment is a good indication that this operation will not be micromanaged by the White House and will be something far beyond an exercise in strategic communication."
 Middle East commentator Rami Khouri in his column in the Daily Star in Lebanon writes:
It’s hard to think of a more depressing combination of American failures in the military-political realm in this region than those four episodes in which Allen was a central actor.
I hope he was only following orders. His playbook today is to do exactly the opposite of everything he did during the past 10 years, which would inspire some confidence in chances of success.
If the name of General Allen sounds familiar, it is not because of his military activities. His a refresher from TIME, February 2013:
Marine General John Allen – caught up and cleared in the email scandal that brought down CIA director David Petraeus – told President Obama on Tuesday he would rather retire from the U.S. military than become Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, one of the top posts in the U.S. military...

Obama had already tapped Allen for the NATO post last year when former Army general Petraeus’ affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, became public and forced him to resign from the CIA. Within days, emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite, surfaced. She had gone to the FBI to complain about harassing emails she said she was getting from someone, later identified as Broadwell, concerning Petraeus.

The email exchange — said to involved thousands of pages of messages and attached documents — led Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to put Allen’s nomination on hold until the propriety of the emails was established. Allen was cleared of any wrongdoing last month.
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics

1 comment:

  1. General officers are subject to call back. Douglas Macarthur retired in the thirties and Roosevelt made him adjutant general of the Philippines to get him out of the way. Similarly, Claire Chennault who had been cashiered by the army--and was outside the War Department--was tapped by Cordell Hull to lead the American Volunteer Group in China against the Japanese and the Communists.

    I would suspect that Gen Allen shares some of Obama's half-baked notions that he can somehow form a coalition of states in the region while at the same time trying to overthrow a legitimate (UN recognized) regime. Also, he may believe that the Syrian opposition does not share weapons with ISIS.