Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy Is Inconsistency
March 5, 2013 4 Comments
Since World War Two second term President’s have cemented their legacy via foreign policy. Reagan won the Cold War during his second term, Clinton had some success in Northern Ireland and Israel. Others like LBJ and Bush 43 got bogged down in unpopular wars. Obama rarely talks about foreign policy anymore, it seems clear he wants to focus exclusively on domestic affairs. This should hardly be surprising if an account by Vali Nasr is to be believed. Nasr describes Obama’s foreign policy as “dithering, controlling and risk adverse.” You might as well add unclear and inconsistent because that’s what it’s been during his first term.
The Pentagon is welcoming a Chinese General who has threatened to nuke the US on a number of occasions. We only owe the Chinese $1 trillion, we aren’t their slaves yet. So why Obama is putting up with Gen. Zhu Chenghu coming to town is anyone’s guess. Interestingly according to Joe Biden, Obama isn’t bluffing when he threatens Iran over their nuclear program. Let’s try to figure this out. We’ll invite a Chinese General who has threatened to nuke the US to the Pentagon but we’ll engage in military action against Iran over their budding nuclear program that hasn’t yet produced a bomb.
Obviously there are some differences between China and Iran. But this example demonstrates the inconsistency the Obama administration has when it comes to foreign policy. That said, does anyone believe Biden when he says Obama isn’t bluffing? So maybe Obama is consistent in appeasing enemies of the United States. In 2008 Obama wanted to personally sit down with Iran. That of course never happened, even though Obama could have easily scheduled such a summit. Iran would have loved the propaganda value of such a meeting, they aren’t responsible for it not taking place. Obama is. We’ve gone from sitting down with them in 2008 to threatening war even though nothing of substance has changed.
Speaking of enemies of the United States, Dennis Rodman’s pal Kim Jong Un claims he’s lifting the cease fire with South Korea on March 11th. North Korea has become increasingly belligerent over the past couple years. Yet Obama doesn’t seem engaged in the area at all. The North Koreans have made threats before of this nature. They’re likely bluffing. So far we don’t even have a statement from Obama on North Korea. He’s probably too busying dithering in the White House fretting about risk while being advised by Valerie Jarrett and other domestic advisers who know little to nothing about foreign policy.
Obama doesn’t seem to have any foreign policy agenda for his second term. His first term left the middle east a complete mess. He seemed to choose sides almost at random in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He’s largely ignored North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs. Yet he’s going to threaten war over Iran’s while continuing to ignore North Korea’s. Obviously these are different nations with different circumstances. Having said that, North Korea is a direct threat to our ally South Korea. The North Korean’s can start a war today against the South, they can kill tens of thousands easily. Iran is only a threat to Israel, in a substantial way, if they get a nuke. Yet the hardline is taken with Iran (if you believe Obama isn’t bluffing) and North Korea is ignored. It makes no sense and unfortunately this is likely going to be Obama’s second term legacy: He makes no sense.