Obama Tonight: Yemen and Somalia Are Models of Success (!)

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The White House has released a couple of excerpts of the president's address to the nation. Here's the second:

“But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.”

So our strategy in Iraq and Syria is going to replicate "one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years"? According to the president, Yemen and Somalia are examples of success? I'm no expert on either place, but I have the impression both are in pretty bad shape, have probably been getting worse, and that our government is pretty worried about the export of terrorism near and far from both. I suspect that others more expert than I could even find recent testimony by senior administration officials and other experts on Yemen and Somalia that would highlight how bizarre it is for the president to hold them up as aspirational standards for his policy in Iraq and Syria. So this is the way Obama's foreign policy ends: Promising to create more Yemens and more Somalias.

 

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