Washington Times on August 31, 2014, reported that President Obama found himself under fire for his cautious approach to beating back the Islamic State’s march through Iraq and Syria and stamping out other diplomatic fires around the globe, with a top House Republican suggesting his foreign policy was in free fall and that Western allies no longer view the U.S. as a leader in the fight against bad actors. Excerpts below:
Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the administration is sitting on its hands while radical Islamist fighters grow in influence, recruit from abroad and seize more territory in Iraq and Syria.
“Europe has obviously stood up and said, ‘We have a huge problem.’ [British Prime Minister] David Cameron came out and said, ‘Not only do we have a problem, here’s my plan to deal with it,’” Mr. Rogers told “Fox News Sunday.”
Mr. Obama raised eyebrows last week by acknowledging that the U.S. does not have a strategy to defeat the brutal Islamic State, which has grown to an estimated 10,000 members and employed savvy recruiting tactics in its bid to set up a caliphate with a strict adherence to Islam’s Shariah law.
An Islamist-allied militia in control of Libya’s capital seized the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound, a commander said on August 31, as onlookers toured the abandoned homes of diplomats who fled the country more than a month ago.
The breach of a deserted U.S. diplomatic post in Tripoli — including images of men earlier swimming in the compound’s algae-filled pools — likely will reinvigorate debate in the U.S. over its role in Libya, more than three years after supporting rebels who toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
The images have surfaced just before the second anniversary of the slaying of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, an incident that remains under investigation by a select congressional panel.
Over the same weekend, high-level officials such as the president of Lithuania and Sen. Robert C. Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, said the situation in Ukraine had erupted into a full-scale war involving Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has taunted Mr. Obama as feckless, and Mr. Obama has compared Mr. Putin to a petulant child who has not stepped into the 21st century.
[Obama]fanned the flames among his critics on August 29 with six words: “We don’t have a strategy yet.”