Next week, President Obama will make his first visit to Israel as president. Given the high levels of instability and uncertainty in the region at this time, we urge President Obama to make several things clear to both our allies and adversaries.
Last week, the Israeli Air Force reportedly attacked two different targets in Syria. Now, after the election of new administrations in both the United States and Israel, the U.S. government would be prudent to engage in political and diplomatic initiatives to ensure as much as possible that no cracks are visible in American support for a threatened Israel.
The Syrian civil war has passed an inflection point and Washington is running to catch up. While it may be too late for the United States to have a decisive impact on the ground, there is still time to salvage an American role in the end game and, hence, an opportunity to help shape Syria's future for the better.
Even during difficult economic times, most Americans still want our nation to maintain a credible national defense, support the welfare of its troops, and assume a leadership role for America in an increasingly chaotic world. The President's choice of a new Secretary of Defense is crucial to our nation during trying times. Unfortunately, the widely-rumored frontrunner for this position, falls short on all three counts.
In his address to the UN General Assembly yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded the world that all attempts to persuade Iran to halt its progress toward developing a nuclear weapon have failed. He urged the world to impose a strict red line on Iran. "At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That's by placing a clear red line on Iran's nuclear weapons program."
On this, the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, the Administration considers al Qaeda all but defeated, and eagerly anticipates a downsized U.S. military and its reorientation to Asia and the Pacific. But, to paraphrase Mark Twain's famous quip, reports of al Qaeda's death are greatly exaggerated.
With his most recent comments in London last week, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, notified the world that the United States and Israel are not united on the issue of Iran. The remarks should not come as a surprise, however, as he was publicly reiterating the differences between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government.
Much has been made of the latest round of sanctions; they have been described as the toughest ever levied against Iran. However, when it comes to compelling Tehran to end its nuclear weapons program, sanctions - as employed by the U.S. government and our European partners - amount to little more than a time-consuming exercise with scant possibility of success.
On this Memorial Day, we remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, and we offer gratitude to the families and friends of the fallen. We appeal to our fellow Americans to always remember the values our fallen heroes stood for, to respect our men and women in uniform, and to honor service to the nation above self.