Barack Obama worked tirelessly for months deliberating with his national security advisors to craft a successful plan to defeat ISIS in Syria.
President Trump, within just three days of taking power from the Obama administration, promptly discarded the plan.
What Trump’s senior staffer had to say about Obama’s plan has left little to the imagination about its worthlessness.
The Washington Post reported Obama and his national security team spent months drawing up countless drafts of battle plans and debated for hundreds of hours over how to most effectively attack and defeat Islamic State militants in Raqqa, the capital of ISIS’ caliphate, located in Northern Syria.
The approach Obama and his team ultimately decided to try was to provide military arms and supplies to Kurdish fighters around Raqqa, effectively collaborating with the Kurds against ISIS, the common enemy.
One issue with this plan right off the bat is it would severely upset President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan who along with his compatriots view the Kurdish fighters as terrorists and arch-enemies of the Turkish people.
The Washington Post explains:
“On January 17, just three days before the transfer of power, Obama directed his national security adviser to hand over to the Trump team a paper detailing the plan to arm the Kurds, including talking points that President Trump could use the explain the move to Turkey’s president, who officials knew would be furious.”
Apparently, Obama and his team had hoped that by providing the plan to the Trump administration, it would enable the new Commander-in-Chief to authorize quick action to tackle Raqqa, one of the Islamic State militants’ most vital fortresses.
But in his typical blunt fashion, President Trump and his administration left little doubt as to what they though of their predecessors’ attempts at keeping America safe – and quickly tossed out Obama’s plan.
According to The Washington Post, one senior Trump administration official explained the plan was full of flaws.
After reviewing the document provided by Obama’s team, the Trump official reportedly said, “They provided the information, but we found huge gaps in it. It was poor staff work.”
Some critics of Trump and members of his administration, like General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, complained that the task Obama and his team had analyzed over the last seven months couldn’t possibly be solved in the next thirty days by Trump’s review team, which is led by Mattis and the Pentagon.
But General Mattis retired from the United States Marine Corps and served as the 11th Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) from August 2010 to March 2013.
CENTCOM is the Unified Combatant Command responsible for directing and providing logistical support for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, and Central Asia.
While critics suggest the situation is much too complicated for a team to just throw out the past administration’s work and start from scratch, especially under a time crunch, Gen. Mattis has made it his business to be familiar with the nuances of fighting terrorism in the Middle East in the 21st century.
Thirty days may be more than enough for an experienced military strategist and leader who spent his entire life and career making decisions under intense pressure – and at great risk – to analyze the situation and carve out a path going forward.
President Trump has directed Gen. Mattis to bring him a series of options and to disregard any “restrictions on troop numbers and civilian casualties that were put in place by Obama,” according to The Washington Post.
The task of analyzing and deciding on a prudent foreign policy to keep citizens of the United States of America safe remains in the hands of President Trump, Secretary Mattis, and the rest of the Trump administration, along with the American people and their elected representatives in Congress.