Obama’s Foreign Policy-What Is It Exactly, and Where Is It Working Well?

Via a reader-Niall Ferguson at Hoover: ‘The Real Obama Doctrine’

‘Now I see that this was the strategy—a strategy aimed at creating a new balance of power in the Middle East. The deal on Iran’s nuclear-arms program was part of Mr. Obama’s aim (as he put it to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in May) “to find effective partners—not just in Iraq, but in Syria, and in Yemen, and in Libya.” Mr. Obama said he wanted “to create the international coalition and atmosphere in which people across sectarian lines are willing to compromise and are willing to work together in order to provide the next generation a fighting chance for a better future.”

Off the top of my head: It strikes me as a rather inexperienced peace activist’s limited historical vision of democratic and peaceful protesters forming morally legitimate coalitions. These coalitions are then to be reinforced by the ‘international community,’ a community presumed to exist and to be gathered under ‘universal’ Western ideals the President shares.

Perhaps the things most worth fighting against are the colonial, imperial, oppressive Western powers in the change-agent’s mind, and the things most worth fighting for are the peace deals, climate change accords, and ‘universal’ Western Left ideals welcoming new partners if they play by the rules and enforcing limits against these players (somehow) if they don’t behave.

People who disagree are often frozen-out, and there seems a woeful reliance on people who support the above thinking.

***Obama’s retrenchment into what are supposedly hard-bitten realism and isolationism likely come via drone strikes, keeping the troops in Afpak, and other areas where he’s sensible enough not to double-down on his idealism.

Walter Russell Mead And Nicholas M. Gallagher-‘Unexpectedly, The Middle-East Meltdown Continues:’

‘This much, President Obama has right. But what President Obama doesn’t acknowledge, or at least didn’t on 60 Minutes, is that while he is a constructive statesman and Putin is a destroyer, Putin is having much more success ripping bits of the order down than Obama is having holding it together.’

As continually previously posted:  Richard Epstein ‘Barack vs. Bibi:’ takes the classical liberal, non anti-war libertarian position:

‘In the end, it is critical to understand that the current weaknesses in American foreign policy stem from the President’s adamant reluctance to commit to the use of American force in international relations, whether with Israel, Iran or with ISIS. Starting from that position, the President has to make huge unilateral concessions, and force his allies to do the same thing. Right now his only expertise is leading from behind.  The President has to learn to be tough in negotiations with his enemies. Right now, sadly, he has demonstrated that toughness only in his relationships with America’s friends and allies.’

On this site, see: George Shultz & Henry Kissinger At The Hoover Institution: ‘What A Final Iran Deal Must Do’

Is Barack Obama A Realist?

2 thoughts on “Obama’s Foreign Policy-What Is It Exactly, and Where Is It Working Well?

    1. Good point.

      I often imagine a poker analogy: Why keep playing such hands in such an order? Why keep focusing on certain players and not others?

      If American resources (advisers, Intel, troops, ‘intellectual capital’) are chips, why not leverage them as much as possible; especially when betting against such players and betting certain amounts at certain times?

      I would suspect such a player is likely bluffing, or likely a novice with little experience and strategy, applying certain mixed strategies piecemeal.

      I’d try and look for coherence, too, and that seems to be where the ideas come in; a player who might be wishing he didn’t have to play the game at all.

      If I were at the table, across from him, I’d play to win, and wonder about the people who sent such a player to the table.

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