A year after President Obama announced a major new counterterrorism strategy to take the country beyond the threats that flowed directly from the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, much of the agenda he outlined remains unfinished or not even begun.
In an ambitious address delivered a year ago Friday at the National Defense University, Obama said that the core of al-Qaeda was “on the path to defeat” and that the upcoming end of the war in Afghanistan had brought America to a “crossroads.”
But many of the changes Obama outlined have proved easier said than done, including new rules governing the use of force abroad, increased public information on and congressional oversight of lethal attacks with drones, and efforts to move the CIA out of the killing business.
Some initiatives have become mired in internal debates, while others have taken a back seat to other pressing issues and perceived new terrorism dangers. Congress, while demanding faster change in some areas, has resisted movement in others.
So you can add this to the list of Mr. Obama’s ineptness.
There is something oddly impressive when it comes to the sheer scope of this administration’s failures. To have gone more than five years as president and to have almost no governing successes to point to is a standard most people, and most politicians, could not hope to attain. Yet Mr. Obama, being the historic figure that he is, decided to enter previously uncharted territory.
At some point I suppose it was inevitable that Jimmy Carter would be pushed aside when it came to incompetence. Now he has.