- - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

President Obama’s virtually nonexistent foreign policy has been described as feckless. I would add the word “puerile” to that. Its most ignoble feature is its profound distaste for military action, one that is nearly indistinguishable from cowardice. This cowardice has not gone unnoticed by our friends and allies, and it has given them pause in their dependence on the United States. It has also been noticed by our enemies and received with elation.

Iraq teeters on the edge of oblivion, taken by surprise by ISIS, a virulent Sunni, anti-American jihadist faction hell-bent on using large sections of Syria and Iraq to re-create a caliphate. The intent? To spread the rule of Islam and Shariah law over the entire globe by force. Will Iraq survive? It’s unlikely.

Iraq faces an implacable foe. Its armed forces lack the will to fight for Iraq’s survival and have deserted it wholesale, leaving their weapons and fighting vehicles behind them. The only nation to come to its aid is Iran, its longtime bitter enemy with an agenda.

Mr. Obama has sent 300 military advisers to Iraq to advise its army on how to defend what remains. Americans don’t want troops in Iraq, but now there are troops there anyway. It would have been more effective to unleash U.S. air power on the jihadists; but that would have involved distasteful military action.

This decade’s history will show that Mr. Obama, a weak American president, was the one who lost the Middle East and the oil needed by our allies to Islamists determined to bring about the destruction of the United States of America.

MAJ. JAMES M. DORN

U.S. Army (retired)

Chino Hills, Calif.