The President’s War Plan




rx times; font-size: 14pt;”>By Gregory Welborn

As we mark the 13th anniversary of 9-11, it will be interesting to see if this week’s and last week’s articles stand as philosophical book-ends to the Obama presidency. I was very critical of President Obama’s unwillingness to seriously engage the world as it really is and to therefore confront the evil which walks so much of the world unconcerned about what the greatest nation will do. If it turns out I wrote prematurely and that the President does have a coherent war plan, then I will be more than happy to commend him for that action. For now, I will simply say that he deserves hearty and unreserved public support if he is truly willing to fight this war.

A willingness on the President’s part to do just that would be in and of itself a major accomplishment. It would mean he has undergone a sea-change and is now willing to acknowledge that we are in a “war” (not a skirmish, struggle, police action or even a conflict) and willing to acknowledge that he is a wartime leader. For someone who has gained so much political mileage from opposing past wars and has based so many of his presidential decisions on extracting the U.S. from physical military participation in, or even leadership of, the world war which rages around us, this change is no doubt difficult, but nonetheless desperately needed.

But this change from naivety to reality, and hopefully from failure to success, will require other changes in how this president conducts his administration and chooses to lead the nation. These will not go well with his closest advisors – made up almost entirely now of sycophants – or closest supporters – made up largely of the hard left who may not be able to make this same transition.

Starting with the obvious, the war campaign he needs to launch will have to focus on the goal of destroying ISIS, not just degrading it, and



certainly not on trying to manage it. Each of these verbs has been used by the President in recent speeches, and each represents dramatically different goals, strategies and tactics. His words last night were the right ones. I pray they were not just words to soothe the American public while he implements more benign and disengaged actions to satisfy he core base.

A successful transition also means accepting the wisdom and prescriptions of an earlier president from whom Obama has so assiduously

distanced himself. President Bush told us that boots on the ground would be needed for the long-term unless we wanted to “surrender the future of Iraq to Al Qaeda,”  “risk mass killings on a horrific scale,” “allow terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq,” and to “confront an enemy even more dangerous.” President Bush is owed an apology for the mockery his words received but, at the very least, President Obama will take to heart the senior president’s advice and stop trying to distance himself from someone whose policy prescriptions he is increasingly having to continue or re-institute. In short, President Obama will have to commit significant boots on the ground. There will have to be an American presence over there.

President Obama also needs to quit eviscerating the U.S. military. He will go before Congress at some point to ask for funds to finance this new campaign, but those will be the tip of the iceberg. We can no longer draw down the standing forces we have, starve the services of needed technological developments or accept the current diminished size of our naval fleet. As he wages a war on ISIS, it’s time to stop waging war against our own military.

His pattern of giving a speech and then moving on to another topic must stop. This topic needs President Obama’s full attention and effort, and will likely need such sustained focus for the remaining 28 months of his presidency. If September 10th’s address becomes just another speech, just another idle warning, there will be hell to pay on the shores of these United States. If that’s the type of commitment we just witnessed, we’re going to witness some mass killings of Americans very soon.

Domestically, President Obama needs to unify the political leaders currently serving at the behest of their constituencies. Republicans can no longer be referred to as the enemy, ridiculed for having evil motives and dismissed as having no good input or place at the table. Elections do matter, as this president is so fond of saying, and every one of our representatives is there as a result of an election. Acknowledging that and negotiating accordingly is a requirement if any military campaign is to work.

President Obama also needs to restore domestic trust in his leadership. Much has been written about how our nation’s enemies do not fear him and our friends do not trust him; a similar sentiment exists domestically because of the President’s habit of lying to the nation about army.nowknown facts and his habit of threatening to simply use that magic pen and phone of his to dictate extra-constitutional executive orders. Elected officials and the public at large do not trust this man as much as a wartime president needs to be trusted. President Obama has a few short weeks (maybe even days) to correct that problem with honest, inclusive and truly transparent communications and processes.

In summary, we need to be willing to rally around this president. The stakes are too high to not give him a full measure of the support that is needed for what lies ahead. But that is not a one-sided requirement; it is not without its quid pro quo. President Obama seems to have made a crucial and healthy transition, but there are other important actions and changes which are needed if we are to be successful and safe.

Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance writer and has spoken to several civic and religious organizations on cultural and moral issues. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 3 children and is active in the community. He can be reached [email protected]/


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