National Security Desk / June 4, 2016

Islamic State, Not Climate Change, Is Greatest Threat

Someone took their eye off the ball, and it wasn’t George W. Bush.

When John Kerry was registering his objection to the United States going into Iraq, he said of George W. Bush, he “took his eye off the ball,” by which Kerry meant going into Afghanistan was okay but not into Iraq. Obama used the same phrase five years later just before he entered the White House to describe Bush’s decision to invade the country. At that time, he was already making plans to order U.S. troops out of Iraq.

We know what happened next. The pullout left a vacuum in which the Islamic State festered and grew. Meanwhile the Obama administration shifted its focus to global warming. In September 2014, Kerry declared that climate change was the biggest threat this nation faced. And in preparation for the UN climate treaty, the administration said climate change was “an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water.”

Now, the State Department has issued a report on terrorism across the globe that named the Islamic State as the greatest global threat. The State Department reported, “Toward the end of 2015, ISIL fighters conducted a series of external attacks in France, Lebanon, and Turkey, demonstrating the organization’s capabilities to carry out deadly plots beyond Iraq and Syria and also exposing weakness in international border security measures and systems. These attacks may also have been staged in an effort to assert a narrative of victory in the face of steady losses of territory in Iraq and Syria.” The fight against the Islamic State might be making gains, but it does not mean the group is contained nor the world safe from attack. Someone took his eye off the ball, and it wasn’t George W. Bush.

Oh, and one more thing — the State Department identified the number one state sponsor of terrorism: Iran. Clearly, Obama’s $150 billion gift to the mullahs through the nuclear deal will work out just fine.

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