Editor: Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, President, American Center for Democracy (ACD)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Creating a flawless foreign policy decision is challenging in the best of times. Creating an effective foreign policy for handling Islamic terror proxies is even more difficult. The US State Department has designated the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) as the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism. Iran was declared State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984. Since then, it has become the top state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
Today, Iran maintains three major terror arms: one dedicated to physical terrorism, another for narcoterrorism, and yet another for cultural terrorism. These are also carried out by Tehran’s many proxies – most notably Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Israel is bearing the brunt of the fighting against all of them. However, it is forced to fight at a distinct disadvantage by the policies of the Biden Administration, which does not seem to have an overall guiding strategy for success. Indeed, any success that does result will be due to Israel’s determination to win.
1) In the three months since the October 7 disaster, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) took control over northern Gaza and about half of southern Gaza. The IDF has targeted at least 30,000 Hamas terrorists, of whom about half have been killed or captured. Weapons resupplied by the US have significantly strengthened the IDF’s ability to maintain its high pace of fighting.
2) Iran used Hezbollah to open the war on Israel’s northern front. Hezbollah is said to have some 40,000 operatives and more than 150,000 rockets and missiles. So far, most of the fighting has been confined to the areas south of the Litani River – about 10 miles north of Israel’s border. In response to Hezbollah’s attacks, the IDF killed about 200 Hezbollah terrorists and bombed 2,000 sites used by the terrorists. Israel could clear Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon within two months. And if Hezbollah continues its attacks, Israel will then have to decide whether to remove Hezbollah from the center of Lebanon as well. 3) Iran also instructed Hamas to step up attacks in Judea-Samaria, Israel’s heartland. So far, over 400 Hamas agents have been killed, and about 3,000 have been arrested.
4) Last November, Iran’s Yemen proxy, the Houthis, fired long-range missiles toward Israel and launched attacks on commercial ships entering the Red Sea. The US kept warning them but did nothing. After months of indecision, the US, in coalition with British forces, retaliated against the Houthis. But these retaliatory attacks have thus far failed to deter the Houthis, who continue firing at American and other merchant ships, as well as American and British Navy ships in the Red Sea. Supported by Iran, the Houthi terrorists will continue their attacks. The US and its coalition will be forced to respond to protect the freedom of commercial shipping moving through the Red Sea.
In January 2021, the Houthis were designated by the Trump administration as a terrorist organization. However, in early February 2021, shortly after entering office, the Biden administration removed the Houthis from the terrorist list. On January 12, 2024, President Biden said: “I think they (the Houthis) are terrorists.” Apparently, not to upset the Houthis Iranian sponsor (with whom Biden is still looking for a deal), he added, “It’s irrelevant whether they’re designated” (as terrorists).
5) Iranian proxies in Iraq and Syria began their attacks on US forces shortly after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023. In more than 130 reported attacks, they have injured close to 100 US troops. Moreover, encouraged by Iran, Iraq requested the formal withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, including from the Kurdish areas in the north.
6) Iran had been sanctioned by the US and forbidden from exporting missiles and other armaments, but these sanctions were also removed in 2023 without explanation. Since then, Iran has been exporting sophisticated weapons to Russia to fight the Ukrainians.
7) In the past two years, Russia and China instigated coups in five northern African countries, complicating the US’s ability to fight al Qaeda and ISIS in that region. Iran apparently pushed the corrupt, failed regime in South Africa to bring false and slanderous charges of genocide against Israel in yet another attempt to de-legitimize the Jewish State and halt the IDF’s war against Hamas in Gaza.8) Iran’s activities are supported by Russia and China. Like Iran, the Russians and Chinese aim to force the US to withdraw from the Middle East. Moreover, tying down US forces and armaments in Europe and the Middle East leaves Taiwan more vulnerable to possible Chinese attacks.
9) To support a three-front war against Russia, Iran, and China, the US military must double or triple the production of its armaments. However, the Biden administration has not yet requested massive increases in Congressionally authorized spending.
10) World War III began on October 7, 2023, when Iran’s proxy, Hamas, attacked Israel, the US’s most vital ally in the Middle East. And despite growing attacks on US forces and assets in the region, the Biden administration sends the wrong signals to America’s enemies. It is pressuring Israel to slow down the destruction of Hezbollah, and to allow the corrupt and genocidal Palestinian Authority (PA) to take over Gaza. And it is pressuring Israel to accept the “two-state solution” disastrous and inherently antisemitic plan. It fails to effectively deter the Houthis and Shiite militias from attacking US and allied soldiers. It fails to stop Iran from funding its proxies, and to prevent their further development of nuclear weapons immediately.
To exacerbate the challenges facing the US, the Biden administration keeps the US southern and northern borders open to the invasion of millions of illegal migrants from all over the world, including large numbers of “got away” criminals and terrorists.
Creating a flawless foreign policy is challenging in the best of times. Creating an effective foreign policy for handling Islamist terrorism is much more difficult. The Biden administration is failing both. The world has rarely witnessed such a level of incompetence!