Cory Gardner Concern Trolls Obama On ISIS

Sen. Cory Gardner.

Sen. Cory Gardner.

As the Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reports, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado is very, very upset with President Barack Obama’s handling of the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), especially after last week’s apparent terror attack in San Bernardino carried out by persons at least passively radicalized by ISIS propaganda.

So upset that he’s calling for…well, something more to be done:

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on Tuesday said President Barack Obama’s strategy to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group is the “same ineffective approach.”

Gardner, a Yuma Republican, joined other senators in sending a letter to Obama after the president’s rare Oval Office address on Sunday. Obama called on the Republican-controlled Congress to authorize military force to fight the terrorist group.

“If Congress believes, as I do, that we are at war with ISIL,” Obama said, using another acronym for the Islamic State, “it should go ahead and vote to authorize the continued use of military force against these terrorists.”

The president has been demanding the authorization for over a year…

Gardner’s response? Well, it’s hard to say what exactly he wants:

The president has pushed to train and equip Iraqi and Syrian rebel forces, and he has sent military trainers to Iraq and U.S. special operations to Syria. Obama rejects the idea of sending combat troops, stating that the move would only help ISIS recruit.

In the letter sent Tuesday with Gardner’s support, the senators say the president must “break this stalemate,” while calling on him to outline a military strategy…

And what might that military strategy against ISIS consist of? We’ve read Gardner’s letter a few times now, and we still can’t find the words “boots on the ground.” Or for that matter, anything meaningful to differentiate his strategy from what Obama is already doing:

U.S. military advisors…
Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs)…
Close air support…
Airstrike approval process…

If you were looking for Sen. Gardner’s “silver bullet” recommendation for winning the war against ISIS, you won’t find it in this letter. In fact, there’s nothing we can see in this letter that seems like a major departure from President Obama’s present strategy against ISIS–certainly nothing to justify Gardner’s professed disappointment with Obama’s “ineffective approach.” Obama deployed several hundred advisors to help fight ISIS over the summer. Following ISIS-claimed attacks on France and Russia, the multinational force arrayed against ISIS is growing stronger by the day.

It’s been a very long time in American history since we’ve seen anything like authentic unity on foreign policy issues. The consensus to fight back after the 9/11 attacks quickly broke down as the Bush administration pursued the invasion of a nation that had nothing to do with those attacks–a cardinal error that contributed directly to the rise of ISIS in subsequent years. What we’re seeing in Gardner’s “response” to Obama appears to be a petulant determination to criticize the President’s strategy no matter what it is–even, as appears to be the case here, when there’s not much difference in strategy at all.

And however you feel about the issue at hand, that’s no way to show leadership.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Socialisticat says:

    So, you look at Cory's strategy and the president's and they are the same.  The only thing different is the two men proposing them.  I wonder what could be coloring Cory's opinion?

    In any case, perhaps it's time that the constitutionalists in the party of "Lincoln" nut up, do their duty, and declare war.  Of course, that means being held accountable when it all goes tits up, but that's the job they signed up for.  Amurika.

    • Moderatus says:

      Obama's weakness and abandonment of Iraq led to the creation of ISIS. Whining about Bush doesn't change that. We have to deal with the situation today, not what we wish happened 13 years ago.

      I don't believe Obama and Gardner have the "same strategy" at all. Obama's strategy seems to be no strategy, hoping to appease a radical enemy that wants to kill us all. Would trust President Gardner to take care of ISIS. I don't trust Obama.

      • Republican 36 says:

        Of course, omitting the last 13 years is silly but that's not the point of this thread. Nor is President Obama's Middle East strategy the subject either. The purpose of this thread is to analyze what Senator Gardner suggests our Middle East strategy should be. Its fine for him to criticize the President's policy but what methods does he think we should utilize to destroy ISIS. Mr. Gardner as one of our policy makers has the obligation to answer some questions like these:

        1. Does he support a resolution passed by both houses of Congress authorizing the President to commit troops and commence extended military operations in Syria and Iraq. I certainly hope so, since he supports doing more than we are doing now.

        2. Does he support committing United States troops for major ground operations against ISIS, including, for example, street to street and house to house fighting to destroy ISIS in the city of Mosul, Iraq, a city of 1 million people, because that is what it is going to take to get them out of there. ISIS is embedded in population of the city because it is predominately sunni? That means heavy U.S. casualties.

        3. After we defeat ISIS, does he support garrisoning U.S. troops in both Syria and Iraq even if the local governments don't want our forces there.

        4. Does he support our troops engaging the Shite militias from Iraq who have already announced they will engage and fight any U.S. troops who come to Syria or Iraq?

        I have children of military age. I want to know what Senator Gardner thinks our policy should be in the Middle East and the fact their lives could be on the line, I have a right to know. But if the past is prologue, Senator Gardner's previous pattern will continue as long as he is in office: First, you criticize the existing policy and the policymakers. Second, without any reference to specific alternatives, you demand they do something different. Third, you issue a statement to that effect and then walk away intending to do nothing. At that point, he becomes an empty shirt.

      • So… don't give Obama the war authority he's seeking because you don't trust him?

        The truth is, Congress is as reluctant to issue a formal war declaration as it usually has been. Here's Obama, the guy who thought America could use a break from wars, asking for a formal war declaration – and the hawkish Republican Congress hasn't even made the first move to give it to him. Perhaps Obama needs to start calling Daesh 'IRAN'…

        • BlueCat says:

          Congress members like Sen. Gardner love to talk tough but are are pissing their pants terrified of taking on any responsiblity for war period.  We haven't been in a declared war since WWII because Congress likes it that way. They're the ones with the power to declare war but they don't want to touch that power with a ten foot pole, no matter who's in the WH. That's just another lame excuse for the way they've avoided their toughest responsibility for over 70 years.

          Sure, Presidents have grabbed the power, waging undeclared wars by other means but only because Congress has never fought them on it. They'd much rather do all the blaming and take no responsibility. The next president should say… back to you. No troops are going anywhere until you use your power to declare a war. Put up or shut up.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        This is pretty hilarious that Moldy is convinced that everything in the world that is wrong is the fault of Obama like he is this sovereign ruler of the world and all the other nations aren't relevant.  Abiding by international laws isn't important.  Respecting other nations sovereignty isn't important.  Of course any successes are due to someone else.  Amazing how one person can be responsible for every wrong in the world but deserves no credit for anything that goes right.  I guess we'll never know what would have happened if Republicans had supported Obama's initiatives during the Arab Spring.

  2. JeffcoBlue says:

    Sounds like Obamacare.

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    Meanwhile, in the grown-up camp up north…

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