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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Obama Doctrine’

Obama Doctrine: Alliance with Muslim Brotherhood for ‘Stability’

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Here is what I wrote in October 2010. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad al-Badi, had just given a sermon calling for the overthrow of Egypt’s government, which happened four months later, and a jihad against the United States, a country he considered weak, foolish, and retreating from the Middle East. I declared that this was:

“One of those obscure Middle East events of the utmost significance that is ignored by the Western mass media, especially because they happen in Arabic, not English; by Western governments, because they don’t fit their policies; and by experts, because they don’t mesh with their preconceptions.”

Two and a half years ago, who would ever have thought that the United States would enter an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood? There were hints in President Barack Obama’s Cairo speech, yet now it is clear that this is the new basis for regional security sought by the Obama Administration.

For all practical purposes the closest allies to the United States are no longer Israel, Saudi Arabia, and a moderate Egypt but an Islamist Egypt, an Islamist regime in Turkey, and the Syrian rebels led by the Brotherhood.

And literally every mainstream media outlet, every expert who speaks in public, every Democrat and the majority of Republican politicians still don’t realize that this is true.

There have been in American history the Truman Doctrine (help countries fight Communist takeover), the Nixon Doctrine (get local middle-sized powers to take part of the burden of the Cold War from the United States), the Carter Doctrine (defend Gulf Arab states from Iranian aggression), and the Reagan Doctrine (go on the offensive against Soviet expansionism). Now we have the Obama Doctrine:

An alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood to transform the Middle East. 

Is this really an improvement on a situation based on alliances with pro-Western dictators? Now they are still dictators but are also anti-American and even more oppressive than their predecessors. After all, the old dictators, as horrible as they were, were content with the status quo (except for Iraq where the overthrow came without a new extremist regime taking power) . The Islamist ones want the fundamental transformation of their societies. By our times, the old dictators were resigned to the regional situation. The Islamist ones want a wave of new revolutions, terrorism, wars against Israel. And sooner or later they will strike out against America, just as they give their Salafist allies a free rein to do so.

The occasion for declaring that an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups is the new Obama Doctrine is, of course, the decision to supply arms to the Syrian rebels. As recently as April 28—a mere six weeks ago!—the New York Times was talking of an imminent rebel victory! Now, however, panic has set in about a total rebel collapse. This has prompted a rush to give weapons to the rebels.

The weapons will be given to the Supreme Military Council which runs the Free Syrian Army (FSA). But while the FSA is nominally led by defected military officers, in fact  most of its soldiers hold views close to the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, the fig leaf will be that these guns are being given to “moderates”—like the people Senator John McCain met with—while actually they will be given to people whose politics encompass hatred for Jews, Christians, the West generally, and ready to engage in what in American politics has come to be known as Homophobia and a War on Women.

If the rebels were to win, this would mean imposing a Muslim Brotherhood government on Syria. Let’s remember that the political opposition organization the United States recognizes and has financially supported is overwhelmingly run by the Brotherhood and it refuses to admit real moderates and Kurds on a serious level. Note that this is the second Muslim Brotherhood entity the U.S. government has provided with weapons. The first was the Egyptian government, to which despite its questionable human rights record the Obama Administration has no objection to helping. The shipment of weapons is not even postponed as a gesture.

Thus, Egypt is an anti-American client state of America. And so is Tunisia. So, too, is Turkey, which is sort of a Muslim Brotherhood regime in Turkish style. The Turkish regime, it should be remembered, is the chief adviser to the Obama Administration on Syrian affairs and its favorite government in the region.

Facing A Changed Game: The ‘Obama Doctrine’ And Israeli Strategic Planning

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
            The high-minded centerpiece of Barack Obama’s still-emerging strategic doctrine is “a world free of nuclear weapons.” Although plainly misconceived – this presidential policy expectation is both unattainable and undesirable - Israel can hardly ignore it. On the contrary, planners in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv will now have to self-consciously fashion and possibly reconcile Israel’s own strategic doctrine with the new American ideas.

 

 

 

            Doctrine is a net. In the interpenetrating worlds of war and peace, only those who cast will catch. Without an appropriate and up-to-date doctrine that takes Washington into close account, the IDF will be unable to conform its essential order of battle to the constantly changing and increasingly lethal requirements of the regional Middle-East battlefield. At a minimum, Prime Minister Netanyahu will need to consider that the new START agreement between the U.S. and Russia effectively leaves the wider threat of nuclear terror unrelieved.

 

            What should be done?

 

            First, Israeli strategists must now look directly at their country’s principal existential threats, and identify these perils, promptly and openly, as the dominant object and rationale of their inquiries. Will the “Obama Doctrine,” with its expressly-diminished reliance on nuclear deterrence, be helpful or harmful in coping with these threats?

 

            Second, Israeli strategists must understand: (a) Israel is a system; (b) existential threats confronting Israel are interrelated (synergistic); and (c) effects of these complex threats upon Israel must be examined together. How will these effects be impacted by the new strategic doctrine in Washington? If necessary, how should Israel compensate for any expanded security vulnerabilities?

 

            Third, Israeli strategists must understand that the entire world is best understood as a system, and that the disintegration of power and authority structures within this wider macro-system will impact, with enormous and at-least partially foreseeable consequences, the Israeli micro-system.  How will this impact be enlarged or reduced by President Obama’s now-codified unwillingness to respond to lower-order (chemical or biological) attacks with nuclear reprisals?

 

            Fourth, the Obama Doctrine does not provide any real guidance on how to deal with those states and sub-state organizations that may not be subject to deterrent threats. This brings to mind the core security problem of prospective enemy irrationality. How should Israel’s own critical plans for dealing with non-rational adversaries be affected by the Obama Doctrine, especially where these adversaries (e.g., Iran) may soon become nuclear?

 

            Fifth, long-term, Israeli strategists must learn to consider seemingly irrelevant literature, real literature, not the narrowly technical materials normally generated by military thinkers, but the genuinely creative and artistic product of writers, poets and playwrights.  The broadly intellectual insights that can be gleaned from this real literature may ultimately provide a far better source of strategic understanding than the visually impressive but often misleading matrixes, mathematics, metaphors and scenarios of the “experts.” 

 

            Sixth, Israeli strategists need to acknowledge the occasional advantages of private as opposed to collective strategic thought.  They should be reminded of Aristotle’s prescient view:  “Deception occurs to a greater extent when we are investigating with others than by ourselves, for an investigation with someone else is carried on quite as much by means of the thing itself.”  There is a correct time for collaborative or “team” investigations, but in certain matters concerning Israeli security, as in all science generally, one may sometimes discover optimal conceptual value in the private musings of single individuals.  This observation refers especially to strategic doctrine.

 

            Seventh, Israeli strategists now need to open up, again, and with greater diligence and formal insight, the major policy question of nuclear ambiguity. Possibly under growing pressure from Washington’s Obama Doctrine to denuclearize (will Obama now start pushing Jerusalem to sign the NPT?), they will have to understand that re-examining the “bomb in the basement” is not just an academic exercise. Such re-examination would come at exactly the time that a new American strategic guidance would most likely condemn any Israeli disclosure.  How, then, should Israel balance its ritual obeisance to Washington with its more obvious and indisputably primary need for survival.

 

            Eighth, again with a clear view to changing nuclear doctrine in the United States, Israeli strategists will need to widen their consideration of far broader questions of nuclear weapons and national strategy.  Ideally, this would be done in consonance with all of the other above-listed strategic studies requirements.  Key issues here will be nuclear targeting doctrine, preemption and ballistic missile defense, positions that will surely be impacted by the Obama Doctrine. 

 

            For Israel, national survival is more problematic than ever. Following the Obama Doctrine and the new START agreement, Prime Minister Netanyahu should ensure that his own strategic planners take careful and immediate note of pertinent game changes.

 

            LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is the author of ten books and several hundred scholarly articles dealing with international relations and international law.  Born in Zurich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II, he was the Chair of Project Daniel.  Professor Beres is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/facing-a-changed-game-the-obama-doctrine-and-israeli-strategic-planning-2/2010/06/30/

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