President Obama judged the Islamic State the “JV team,” boasted that he’d set al Qaeda “on its heels” and implemented successful counterterrorism policies in Yemen. He insists that both the nuclear deal and the hostages-for-felons swap he concluded with Iran’s rulers are triumphs of diplomacy. In his State of the Union address last week, he reassured us that our enemies do not “threaten our national existence.” Why am I not filled with optimism?
“Existential threat” is a term that has been most commonly used in recent years about Israel, a nation-state that Islamists aim to exterminate. As Iran’s rulers have noted, the detonation of just one nuclear weapon on Israeli soil could be the quickest means to achieve that goal.