Two years after Obama declared that the administration has decimated Al Qaeda worldwide, Al Qaeda has delivered the most devastating blow to the United States since the 9/11 attacks that precipitated America’s war on Islamic terrorism.
The fall of the Iraqi Anbar province towns of Ramadi and Fallujah recently to foreign fighters under control of Al Qaeda, called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, represents not just a tactical defeat in Obama’s “Smart Power” strategy, but a strategic surrender of the entire U.S. foreign policy conception for the last 50 years.
“US policies and leaders in three years have destroyed a state system that earlier generations evolved over decades,” said an intelligence analyst who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak with the press. “The U.S. has nothing to show for it but suffering and has nothing to replace it with.”
Anbar province is strategically situated, sharing a border with Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan. While Jordan and Saudi Arabia remain tenuously allied with the United States, the spread of military operations by Al Qaeda out of Syria and into Iraq must mean that they will continue to cast around for more reliable allies than the Obama administration has proved to be.
“US policy makes no sense to anyone in the region,” the analyst continued. “In the view of the US administration, however, the US is consistent in trying to promote democratically elected government, despite the total irrelevance of that concept to region.”
The analyst further observed that the administration has crafted the ridiculous foreign policy conditions in which they support what the Al Qaeda rebels are doing in Syria in opposing that government, while the administration opposes the same rebels across the border in Iraq who are trying to topple the government installed through the Iraqi elections.
The rebels on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL), has been Al Qaeda since 2004 and mostly consist of foreign fighters.
In the fall of 2012 the administration tried to paint a very different picture of the strategic situation for Al Qaeda.