Well, our allies seem not quite satisfied with the Obama Doctrine of Leading from Behind, asking for a little guidance on how we might want to go about defeating what the administration itself is describing as a grave threat to national security.
According to Reuters:
British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande, the leaders of Europe’s main military powers, told Obama in private meetings that Washington had to do more than simply order air strikes on IS targets in Iraq and needed an overall strategy, European officials said.
“It can’t be just ‘let’s go and bomb a few targets and see what happens’,” said one Western defense official familiar with the talks between the allied leaders.
France and Britain are part of some kind of new “coalition” Obama formed during what the New York Times said was “a hastily organized meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit.” Australia, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark are also in.
But who knows what this even means? Doesn’t look like they’ll do any serious fighting.
“Obviously I think that’s a red line for everybody here: no boots on the ground,” said Secretary of State Kerry.
Great Britain won’t even commit to airstrikes.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said his country had made “no commitment to take part in any air strikes as yet,” adding, “we’ll certainly consider that possibility if we think that it is the best and most effective way to support a credible and inclusive Iraqi government.”
This ragtag group of half-hearted participants stands in stark contrast to the coalition assembled by George W. Bush – yes, “go it alone” Bush – to battle Saddam Hussein. Bush’s coalition eventually included 48 countries, 37 of which provided troops.
Thank goodness we finally have a multilateralist in the White House.