. . . and Obama ought to know it, according to an NYT op-ed:
LAST weekend, Barack Obama dazzled crowds in Europe. Discussing international security, he spoke eloquently about needing an American-European partnership to defeat terrorism.
In Paris, he said that “terrorism cannot be solved by any one country alone,” and that we should establish partnerships. In Berlin, he expressed hope that Europeans and Americans “can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks” of terrorists worldwide.
But there’s one problem. We already have a counterterrorism partnership with the European Union. And it works. Indeed, despite news media caricatures of aggressive Americans feuding with pacifist Europeans, both groups are quite serious about protecting citizens by working together. . .
In 2004, J. Cofer Black, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, testified about the success of these partnerships before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on European affairs. Had Senator Obama, who now heads that subcommittee, read the transcripts from the meeting, which took place before he came to office, or had he held a similar hearing, he might have known that the partnerships he called for last week already exist.
After years of investment and sacrifice, Americans and Europeans deserve accurate information about our efforts to defeat international terrorism, especially from a prospective commander in chief.
UPDATE: Power Line has some text the NYT cut from the piece. Here’s the original ending:
In 2004, the top State Department counter-terrorism official testified about such success before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on European Affairs. Interestingly, Senator Obama now chairs the same committee yet has not held a single hearing to become informed about the US-EU counter-terrorism partnership.
He explains that he has been too busy campaigning while maintaining that he possesses sound judgment. Yet, in matters of international cooperation against terrorism, the best judgment is informed judgment. As a potential commander-in-chief, Senator Obama would do well to study the successful US-EU counter-terrorism partnership and support its continued success.
One way to do that when overseas is not to focus on dazzling a public that envisions the next Kennedy gracing Berlin’s streets. Instead, he can learn from the intelligence and law enforcement professionals in Europe who protect the public. Otherwise, they may revise the famous quote in honor of Senator Obama: “Ich bin ein Beginner.”