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"This White House, and the next, should be planning..."

Reader comment on item: Sisi's Incompetent Anti-Islamist Campaign

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Apr 13, 2014 at 10:59

I am a scientist by training, used to making conclude based on observed trends. When two reactants cause the temperature of a system to increase, for instance, when they react, I conclude that the reaction is exothermic. Whenever I react those two reagents afterwards, under similar conditions, I expect the temperature to rise.

The US Administration has reacted recently, in situation after situation in the Middle East, by giving off ever less and less heat when tested by its adversaries. In Libya in 2011, it let the Europeans carry the ball in Libya, not even sending an aircraft carrier into the Mediterranean (In fact, it pulled its carrier out). Around December of 2012, when the Russians became increasingly bold in stationing its big fighting ships in the Eastern Mediterranean, the US Navy withdrew to other seas. In the Spring of 2013, US aircraft carriers were effectively shelved from active duty in Norfolk because we could not afford to crew them; around the same time, the US decided to scrap a damaged state-of-the-art nuclear submarine because it could not afford to repair it. Finally, in September, 2013, President Obama was humiliated when he threatened NATO action against Syria and was deserted by our closest ally, Britain. Then, while he tried to present a show of force in the area, our meager presence in the area was dwarfed not only by the Russians but also by the Chinese, who had 1000 marines aboard their ship in contrast to our 800. Even the South Koreans had a presence in the area at the time that rivalled ours.

That's a big enough sample of tests, to gauge the size and effectiveness of the US military, the will of the American people and President to use that military, and the likelihood that it will get militarily involved in the Middle East in the future, regardless of provocation. Every test says that we will not. I know this, most pundits know this, and, most importantly, our rivals know this.

General Sisi is ambitiously trying to take the helm of the Egyptian government. He is bankrolled by the Saudis, Kuwaitis and Emiratis; and his military backup comes not from the US, but from balancing the Americans against the Russians. Hopefully, the White House is not making ANY plans concerning Egypt; because if their track record in Libya and Syria is to be trusted, the more the White House plans in the area, the worse things turn out. Overall, we know the White House's plans, and they show no prospect of changing in the near future: The White House plans to call its dogs home, then duck and cover with them in the basement. It's Gen. Sisi, not the White House, that needs to plan carefully.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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