The Folly Of Thinking You Can Fight Terrorism With Police Actions

It has been over a week since Joe Scarborough uttered these words, Obama saying he has no strategy against ISIS is a tactic straight out of “The Art of War”. I thought the the Obama administration had declared that the war on terror was “mission accomplished” and any future acts of terrorism would be best handled with either a shrug of the shoulders or an arrest warrant. In this law abiding world the wisdom of “The Art of War” was not necessary when arrest warrants would suffice. It is amusing to think this Administration might seek wisdom in their fight against terror from a book written two thousand years ago about battle strategies. To paraphrase Tommy Vietor, “Dude, the Art of War was more than two years ago!”

What intrigued me most about Joe’s comment was the idea that Joe and probably the most of the country thinks we are fighting a war on terrorism while the Administration seems to be locked into a police action strategy supplemented with a few extralegal drone attacks. Arguably the Administration’s greatest accomplishment in the battle with terrorism was when they ignored the legal issues with conducting a covert operation in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. It is kind of amusing to think of a Pakistani police officer knocking on Osama bin Laden’s door and announcing we have a warrant for your arrest. Successful police actions are few and far between in the fight against terrorism. The inconvenient fact is that the Administration has a strategy to fight terrorism and they do not want to talk about it since most people would blame them for the four deaths in Benghazi. It was the Benghazi fiasco that convinced the public of the broad policy failure associated with the police action approach. Nothing condemns a policy faster than a dead ambassador. I think most of the country expected a terrorism policy that improved upon what we learned during the Bush Administration. What we got was an outright rejection of everything we learned over the previous eight years and a new strategy that can be blamed for killing the ambassador. The Administration seems to have gone back to the Clinton terrorism strategy and replaced cruise missiles with drone attacks. Unfortunately this Administration is having the same lack of success fighting terrorism as the Clinton Administration. There was a good reason that the Bush Administration chose to fight terrorism differently than the Clinton Administration. The Clinton strategy wasn’t working! As we approach the anniversary of 9/11 I think the people fear we have laid the groundwork to repeat this tragedy.