Vickers on the threats we face & NATO's future

Editor’s Note – Barack Obama has demonstrated a disdain for calling anything terrorism, unless forced to, and most often he has re-labeled it as an ‘overseas contingency operation’ to appease the Muslim world. He uses words like war and victory only when there is no intention to act, and he only acts when politically expedient. He has basically ended America’s hostilities on terror, save for a drone strike or two.

Then only recently did he give a speech at West Point explaining his foreign policy, six years into his two terms, which he was forced to do for at least two reasons, the recent kidnappings and deaths at the hands of Boko Harem and the immediate release only a few days after the speech of the ‘Taliban 5’ from Guantanamo.cocom-world-map-1356548233

So where does that leave America for the next several years, especially since Barack Obama has forced the shrinking of the United States global footprint, reputation, and trustworthiness?

Barack Obama’s lack of a clear and concise foreign policy and dismal leadership has alienated our allies to such a point that there is a very real possibility of NATO crumbling, much like the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc.

This leaves China and a resurgent Russia, along with the entire Shiite and Sunni world in a race for the top slots of global power rankings. When only Greece has set aside the proper funds for its share of NATO expenses, there is not much hope for NATO’s future.

In context, the lack of will and the anti-colonialism slant that Barack Obama has demonstrated, simply removed the United States from the short list of the keepers of peace globally.

In just six short years, Obama has unraveled the United States’ dominance globally, a closely knit fabric that was carefully crafted over generations. Now, some experts predict it will take at least fifteen years even to begin to reverse this course. Others predict as many as forty years, and that is only if there is a collection of Reagan prodigies on the horizon. Not much hope so far.

One of the topic intelligence analysts, with a real and candid background for saying what must be said, Michael Vickers has addressed this issue. Here he is his assessment. Please give it deep consideration.

USDI Vickers’ Top Threats: Terrorists, Syria, Russian ‘Revanchism’

By COLIN CLARK – BreakingDefense.com

WASHINGTON: If you want to understand why President Obama spoke so much about terrorism in his widely panned West Point speech, the head of Pentagon intelligence explained it pretty well today.

Terrorism is and remains the top threat to the United States, Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence Mike Vickers said this morning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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The most interesting, and some would say anomalous, threat assessment he offered: China comes in at number seven after Al Qaeda and its affiliates, the Syrian civil war, Russian “revanchism,” Iran, North Korea and what he called the “persistent volatility” across South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa.

That’s right, China appears to come seventh when the Intelligence Community is planning and advising President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

It makes sense when you consider the long-range goals China appears to have set itself and the absence of a direct confrontation — so far — between the two powers.

Now folks in the Intelligence Community may well tut tut and profess that they examine each situation as it occurs, but budgeting requires prioritization and here it is.

What does all this mean in aggregate to the Intelligence Community and the Pentagon? Vickers said, “[as] senior intelligence officials, we haven’t seen this range of challenges on an administration’s plate in our careers.” Not only is the range of threats geographically enormous and conceptually varied, they are, as Vickers noted, “these are highly asymmetric challenges.

In Pentagon parlance that means the United States military isn’t necessarily well prepared to cope with them. And there are a lot of them.

Is Mike Vickers arguing that the Intelligence Community needs to remain very well financed, even in this age of declining defense budgets? Sounds like!