Take a step back and look at what is going on in the Middle East from a 30,000-foot level and you won’t like what you see. When President Obama came into office, Iraq was a tenuous (although corrupt and fragile) democracy. The possibility existed to help develop a Middle East that had an anchor of stability and a base for America to protect itself from radical Islam over there before they attack us over here. So, the Obama administration removed all U.S. troops from Iraq and left the mother of all power vacuums, wasting trillions of dollars and thousands of lives in the process.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria was born and Iraq has collapsed into an jihadist and Iranian playground.
Concurrently, aided by the White House, the Arab Spring removed many dictators who held a lid on Islamist extremism and allowed it to flourish in places like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, etc. The White House hoped Syria would be next in line and has pushed to remove Bashar Assad and said they would aide the “good” Syrian rebels. They threatened a red line for Assad over chemical weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin skillfully maneuvered to avert an American airstrike. Mr. Obama blinked. And we still don’t know what was going on in Benghazi, Libya, although I suspect the truth will come out eventually and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s shenanigans will be revealed once again.
Mr. Putin saw Mr. Obama’s weakness as a green light in the Middle East, and Russian troops have begun to arrive en masse in Syria, building a Russian air base to protect its naval facility at Tartus and provide a base for Russian power projection in the region. All the while Mr. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have been working as hard as they can to allow Iran to achieve its goal of obtaining the bomb, lying to the American public in the process. Remember Mr. Obama, “Iran will never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
So now for the coup de grace. Iran is now sending hundreds of elite Quds Force commandos to support Russian troops in their fight against the Sunni rebels in support of the Shia Assad regime, an Iranian puppet state. Russia is about to sell Iran all the sophisticated weapons it can buy. Israel, which used to be a valued American ally, has been vilified and is left to defend itself against overwhelming threats.
The geopolitical map has been redrawn in the Levant and the Fertile Crescent. Iran and Russia will dominate an area that still provides 40 percent of the world’s oil. American presence and leadership has been decimated.
Mr. Obama’s work is almost done, but he’s still got 18 months left in office. What’s next for an encore?