According to Reuters, President Obama was briefed on the Iranian bomb plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in June. The White House released its strategy to combat terrorism on June 28. The strategy makes one brief reference toIran in the nineteen page document. So, while the White House knew the Iranians had active operations on-going in the United States, it intentionally side-stepped the issue of state-sponsored terrorism in its strategy. How can that make sense?

I understand the administration would not want to stick something in the document that might jeopardize an ongoing investigation….but come on…it’s not like the world didn’t know Iran was the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism. Every year, the State Department singles out the Qods Force as an organization of particular concern. Last year’s annual State Department report concluded:

“In 2010, Iran remained the principal supporter of groups implacably opposed to the Middle East Peace Process. The Qods Force, the external operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.Iranprovided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).”

On August 24, The Heritage Foundation Counterterrorism Task Force published “A Counterterrorism Strategy for the Next Wave.” The Heritage report criticized the administration for neglecting to address state-sponsored terrorism:

“The President’s strategy pays insufficient attention to state-sponsored terrorism, which will increasingly be a major force to be reckoned with.Iranis one of the most prominent and aggressive state sponsors of terror and its protégés—both Hamas and Hezbollah—represent potentially grave threats. In addition, transnational criminal cartels inMexicoare increasingly taking on the character of terrorist networks.”

The report concluded that it was past time for take proactive measures to deal with these threats. In particular regardingIran, the report concluded:

“The iron triangle of state-sponsored terrorism—Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah—is potentially as significant a threat to U.S.interests as a reconstituted al-Qaeda.Iranremains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. Breaking the triangle apart can only be accomplished by bringing freedom to the people under the tyranny of the leadership inTehran—change that has to come from within the country.”

  • Rmurray1972

    The current administration’s arcane, if not counter-intuitive behavior as relates to the discovery and fortuitous thwarting of the terrorist plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States defies understanding. Until one undertakes a careful analysis of the President’s worldview, to include examining the factors that in broad context shape his global policy agenda and specifically identifying those assumptions that inform his position on foreign policy and the GWOT, distilling, let alone fathoming a central organizing principle describe an exercise in futility.
    Briefly, while President Obama endorses a holistic approach…read deference to the U.N., reliance on NATO in Libya…etc… his approach to problem-solving on an international scale is professorially pluralistic. His efforts are exploratory rather than directive…open ended rather than definitive…and lead to managing rather than resolving a dilemma.
    The aforementioned lead to a personal perspective that emphasizes diversity at the the expense of national interest and conflates national purpose with the former.The resultant tacit diminution, if not rejection of American exceptional-ism further divorces the polity from the policy.The ultimate outcome of the aforementioned is a perspective that is more relevant to an academic environment, and neither germane to exercising  foreign policy initiative nor executing effective threat pre-emption or response.