Under Obama’s Watch, 2014 Was Most Lethal Year on Record for Terrorism
Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 7, 2015
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has summed up today’s global threats this way: “Unpredictable instability is the new normal.” In an assessment to the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 26, he noted that last year there were more deaths from state-sponsored mass killings, more people displaced from their homes, and a higher rate of political instability than we have seen in decades. It was the most lethal year for global terrorism since 1970, when the data was first compiled.
Such a state of affairs is a searing indictment of President Obama’s foreign policy team, which has presided over six years in which America has become decidedly less safe and less secure. Moreover, the Administration seems blind to these harsh realities. Secretary of State John Kerry recently told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that “we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century.” Apparently, Director Clapper and Secretary Kerry did not get the same memo.
It is clear that the Obama Administration’s record of foreign policy missteps has diminished the projection of U.S. strength and power. On pressing national security issues, the President has naively believed the hollow promises of adversaries and wrongly impaired the support of allies.
Nowhere is this more evident than the Administration’s attempt to “reset” relations with Russia six years ago. President Vladimir Putin has made a mockery of U.S. capitulations, boldly increasing his aggression and blatantly ignoring the rule of law and basic human rights. His acts of defiance include the invasion and annexation of part of Ukraine, support for the brutal regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and the development of missiles banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
With little time to forge his legacy, President Obama is again attempting to make a deal with an unreliable nation. The goal of ongoing multilateral negotiations is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but concerns have already been raised that the Administration might be too generous in its concessions, allowing the volatile nation to fulfill its nuclear aims.
A bad deal would severely jeopardize security in the region and could spell disaster for Israel, which remains one of America’s closest allies. I am hopeful that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reiterate these serious implications during his address to a joint session of Congress on March 3.
Given the long-standing relationship between Israel and the United States, it is unfortunate that Mr. Netanyahu’s upcoming speech has garnered such indignation from the Administration, which went so far as to call it “destructive” to bilateral relations. The security of all Israelis remains crucial to U.S. interests and to the entire region, especially considering that Iranian leaders have suggested that the state of Israel should be “eliminated.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu deserves the opportunity to outline his concerns to lawmakers about Iran and escalating Islamic extremism. Despite veto threats from President Obama, Congress continues to discuss whether Iran should face tougher sanctions if an agreement that limits its nuclear capabilities is not reached by the March deadline. Members are also deeply involved in developing a strategy to defeat the barbaric Islamic State, which has launched a campaign of terror across the Middle East. Why shouldn’t America hear about these urgent issues from a trusted friend in the region?
An honest look at today’s threats and the need for U.S. leadership are critically important to global security and stability at this pivotal time. Director Clapper was frank in his testimony that addressing current challenges would not be easy, noting that “pervasive uncertainty makes it all the harder to predict the future.” But America can succeed, if we demonstrate the fortitude and resolve necessary to defend freedom and to stop those who threaten it.