2015’s Top 10 Assaults on National Security

By Jed Babbin

The Washington Times

December 15, 2015

So many of 2015’s events and decisions damaged our national security that it’s impossible to catalogue them all. But as the year ends, we need to remind ourselves of those that will outlive the year.

With apologies to David Letterman, here are 2015’s top 10 assaults on America’s national security:

10. Among our allies, only Kurdish forces have been effective in fighting the Islamic State, or ISIS. They have been begging for arms and supplies, which they have been refused. Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine hasn’t been answered, except by supplying the Ukrainian army with worn-out trucks and other non-lethal equipment. Denying one front-line ally the arms it needs or supplying another with junk betrays both and teaches the rest of the world not to trust us.

9. President Obama insists on bringing “Syrian” refugees (who come not just from Syria but from a host of other terrorist-ridden nations) into America despite the fact that, as FBI Director James Comey warned, there is no way to weed out the possible terrorists among them. Congress should prevent this by denying funding — even if they have to shut down the government.

8. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said recently that the Air Force was running out of bombs to drop on ISIS due to of lack of funding. This is one of the absurdities created by the sequestration mechanism of the 2011 Budget Control Act. Military spending is disconnected from the realities our armed forces must face. Congress and the president aren’t dealing with these problems responsibly.

7. The investigation into the manipulation of intelligence reports by senior U.S.Central Command officers for political purposes may indicate a disease that is infecting our entire intelligence community. Our next president needs to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the entire community to eradicate this problem.

6. According to an intensive study by the Marine Corps, women in combat are injured twice as often as men, shoot less accurately and aren’t as able to rescue wounded comrades by carrying them out of the line of fire. The Marines necessarily concluded that units including women are less effective in combat. Nevertheless, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ordered the services to include women in all combat jobs, including SEALs, Green Berets and Marine infantry. That order will result in more combat deaths than necessary and increase the possibility that we will lose battles.

5. Ideology is the most effective weapon radical Islamic terrorists use against us. It’s effective in recruiting jihadist murderers, suicide bombers and financial supporters, and in terrorizing other Muslims into silence. George W. Bush refused to fight the ideological war, and President Obama’s team is blatantly siding with the radical Islamists. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s statement that she would take “aggressive action” against anyone whose anti-Muslim rhetoric “edges toward violence” is a major victory for the terrorists and a dangerous assault on the First Amendment.

4. Mr. Obama’s failure in fighting ISIS is comprehensive. One of the ways it could easily be done better is by barring ISIS transactions from access to the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, which is the global clearinghouse for inter-bank financial transactions. ISIS is enriching itself through oil sales. Stopping its bank transactions is elementary, and neglecting to do so inexcusable.

3. Congress severely limited and greatly slowed the National Security Agency’s ability to track terrorists and interdict attacks by obtaining and analyzing telephone “metadata,” the records that contain only the telephone numbers involved and time used in a call. We need more and better intelligence tools, not fewer. One of the San Bernardino terrorists reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook and the other reportedly contacted both al-Nusra in Syria and al-Shabaab in Somalia. We must have the intelligence tools in place that will enable our intelligence agencies and the FBI to catch such people before they strike.

2. The Corker Amendment was drafted in response to Mr. Obama’s refusal to submit any nuclear weapons agreement with Iran to the Senate for ratification as required by Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution. Sen. Robert Corker’s legislation turned the Constitution upside-down. Instead of Mr. Obama having to get a two-thirds vote in favor of the deal to get it ratified, Mr. Corker’s legislation required the opponents to get a two-thirds vote to kill the deal. Of course, that never happened. All four of the Republican senators running for president voted for the Corker bill. They, and all the rest who voted for the Corker Amendment, literally paved the way for Mr. Obama’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran. It would have been far better if Congress had done nothing.

1. Mr. Obama’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran stands alone as the most important event endangering our national security in 2015. The deal enables Iran to develop nuclear weapons, in secret, at its leisure. It’s “inspection regime” enables the Iranians to inspect their own facilities. The Iranian government — in a late October letter from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and in the earlier action of the Iranian Parliament — has made clear that it does not believe it has an obligation to comply with the deal. Neither ratified the deal, although Mr. Obama got the United Nations Security Council to do so. This agreement endangers America as well as our allies in the Middle East and Europe. One result — a nuclear arms race among the Middle Eastern countries — has already begun.