The Hidden Danger in Obama's ISIS Plan

Apparently, from press reports, Barack Obama intends to emulate Lyndon Johnson’s prosecution of the war in Vietnam.  Obama plans to micro-manage every bombing mission, every assault, and every attack in the same way that he currently micro-manages drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Yemen, Somalia, and wherever targets might appear.  It would seem that the president's success in killing terrorists (and non-terrorists in close proximity to the target) via these drone strikes has given him the belief that he actually understands combat, and how it should be conducted.

But both the White House and the Pentagon are being, in the words of Elmer Fudd, “vewy, vewy quiet” about the poison pill that can undo whatever strategy ultimately develops.  Namely, how are we supposed to implement any strategy, no matter who dreams it up, if there is no military?

Unlike Vietnam, we now have the ideal of the politically correct Progressives.  We now have an all-volunteer military.

The funny thing about an all-volunteer military is that the men and women on the front lines may not choose to re-enlist.  Any use of coercion to keep these military personnel in the services beyond the expiration of their contracts will cause a lot of them to contact a lawyer to fight being sent one more time into danger in the Middle East.  And since this administration has been very busy appointing liberal-Progressive judges all over the country, there is a good chance that the men and women who are saying, “Enough!  I’ve had all the fun I can stand” will find a sympathetic ear sitting on the judicial bench.

News reports of a rift between the White House and the Pentagon might result in a significant reduction of young men and women who are willing to risk their lives at the orders of an unwilling president.  After all, if Obama's orders, without discussion or compromise, lead almost inevitably to increasing American casualties, the ladies and gentlemen in the Pentagon – you know, the ones with all the stars on their shoulders – will feel duty-bound to object.

Couple this exodus of experienced personnel with a significant drop in new enlistments, and Mr. Obama can give any orders he wants, and the Pentagon can ask only one question:  “Just whom are we supposed to use to carry out those orders, Mr. President?”

Once again, our gifted president will find that reality doesn’t always conform to what he believes it should.  I can’t imagine that any member of Congress would be willing to vote to reinstitute the draft.  And there will be only one person to blame – the president. 

In a perverse way, it should be highly entertaining watching Barack Obama try to twist and wriggle out of responsibility for what is clearly no one else’s fault.

Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller and a two-tour Vietnam veteran.  He writes frequently about political idiocy, business and economic idiocy, and American cultural idiocy.  Jim also blogs at and can be contacted directly at