“Obama’s coalition is effectively dead shortly after conception…”
Matt Fox of the right-of-center news portal The Daily Surge has picked-up where the Obama Administration left off by designating a catchy title for the “broad coalition” the Commander in Chief promised: The Coalition of the Wilting. Not as snarky, but certainly as hard hitting was CNN also reporting on Sept. 12, 2014 that the much ballyhooed allied effort may sound nice, but of little real war fighting substance.
While George W. Bush compiled almost fifty nations for his Coalition of the Willing, 41 of the partner nations stepped forward to send troops as the figurative and literal “boots on the ground.” However, the numbers behind the Obama soundbite aren’t quite as impressive. Earlier in the week Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel designated a “core coalition” of nations” consisting of the United States, Britain, France, Australia, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark. However, none of Obama’s coalition has committed themselves to ground combat troops. To add insult to injury, none of the core coalition countries will assist the United States in flying combat airstrikes against ISIS.
In what may be best described as terminated before it could go to full term, Obama’s coalition is effectively dead shortly after conception. France and Germany have already publicly stated that none of their air or ground forces will participate, while the British are giving mixed signals. But as the situation is changes by the minute, our British allies are widely considered to be taking a pass on any combatant role.
The final nail in the coffin could be Turkey declaring they would stay away from the any “core coalition” and provide only a “passive contribution.” Taking their distancing from Obama a step further, the Turks have forbad any US airstrikes for originating in the Incirlik US Air Force Base located in the east of the nation, literally just a handful of miles from the Iraqi border.
With Incirlik AB out of the picture, any possible airstrikes would have to originate from either aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf or the Mediterranean Sea, or from US air bases in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait or the United Arab Emirates, provided their respective governments authorize their use. All US air combat forces have been withdrawn from Saudi Arabia, but the possibility still exists Obama may ask King Abdullah permission to use his airstrips.
Secretary of State John Kerry is still shuttling overseas attempting to cobble together contributions greater than MREs and sleeping bags. Kerry may be regretting that during the Sept. 30, 2004 presidential debate, then-Senator Kerry belittled President Bush’s coalition as “That’s not a grand coalition. We can do better.”