Category Archives: Foreign Policy

2014: Obama’s America

Scandals now come so fast that each new mess makes us forget the previous one.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Our Roost, Obama’s Chickens

From the Middle East to Russia to our own southern border, Obama’s bills are coming due.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

How Obama Lost the Middle East

The president put politics and ideology ahead of preserving hard-won gains in the region. 

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

In his first term, Barack Obama all but declared victory in America’s Middle East struggles.

As he precipitously pulled out all U.S. peacekeepers from Iraq, the president had his own “Mission Accomplished” moment when declaring the country “stable,” “self-reliant,” and an “extraordinary achievement.”

Those claims echoed Vice President Joe Biden’s earlier boast that Iraq somehow would prove Obama’s “greatest achievement.”

After the death of Osama bin Laden, and during Obama’s reelection campaign, the president also proclaimed that al-Qaeda was a spent force and “on the run.”

But what exactly was the new Obama strategy that supposedly had all but achieved a victory in the larger War on Terror amid Middle East hostility?

Fuzzy euphemisms replaced supposedly hurtful terms such as “terrorism,” “jihadist,” and “Islamist.” The administration gave well-meaning speeches exaggerating Islamic achievement while citing past American culpability.

We tilted toward Turkey and the Palestinians while sternly lecturing Israel. Military victory was caricatured as an obsolete concept. Leading from behind was a clever substitute.

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Obama’s World Disorder

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

Image credit: Zoriah

Image credit: Zoriah

Amid all the talk of the isolationism that supposedly characterizes the Obama administration’s foreign policy, we forget that since World War II, the global order has largely been determined by U.S. engagement. The historically rare state of prosperity and peace that defined the postwar world were due to past U.S. vigilance and sacrifice.

Germany in the last 150 years has been at the center of three European wars, winning one, losing another, and destroying much of Europe and itself in the third. Yet present-day Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. It is a global leader in high technology and industrial craftsmanship. For seventy years Germany, even after its second historic unification in 1989, has not translated such economic preeminence into military power, much less aggression. In fact, the strategic status quo of postwar Europe—with Britain and France, and their relatively smaller and weaker economies, as the continent’s two sole nuclear powers—remains mostly unquestioned.

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Melancholy Lessons from Iraq

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via Wikicommons

Photo via Wikicommons

The unfolding collapse of Iraq’s government before the legions of al Qaeda jihadists is the capstone of Barack Obama’s incompetent and politicized foreign policy. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), armed with plundered American weapons and flush with stolen money, is consolidating a Sunni terrorist state in eastern Syria and northern Iraq, replete with mass executions, sharia law, and the beheading of violators. With revered Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calling the Shia faithful to arms, a vicious civil war between Shia and Sunnis will likely intensify in the coming days. But whoever wins, the fallout for our security will be disastrous – a Shiite “crescent” from Aleppo to Mosul allied with Iran, which looks ever more likely to be nuclear armed, and a safe haven for terrorist training camps to prepare “martyrs” for attacks against the West. And our allies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all will to various degrees find their own security and interests impacted by this administration’s criminal foreign policy negligence.

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America’s Middle East Dilemma

Toppling tyrants is ineffective in the long term without years of unpopular occupation.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

War Was Interested in Obama

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia 

obama_trotsky_6-15-14-1

Photo by EdDriscoll.com via PJMedia

Leon Trotsky probably did not quite write the legendary aphorism that “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” But whoever did, you get the point that no nation can always pick and choose when it wishes to be left alone.

Barack Obama, however, never quite realized that truth, and so just declared [1] that “the world is less violent than it has ever been.” He must have meant less violent in the sense that the bad guys are winning and as they do, the violence wanes — sort of like Europe around March 1941, when all was relatively quiet under the new continental Reich.

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Our Future Is 1979

Obama’s foreign-policy weakness encourages our enemies and disheartens our allies. 

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Photo of Jimmy Carter holding cabinet meeting 1977 photo by US National Archives

Photo of Jimmy Carter holding cabinet meeting 1977 photo by US National Archives

The final acts of the Obama foreign policy will play out in the next two years. Unfortunately, bad things happen when the world concludes that the American president has become weakened, distracted, or diffident about foreign policy.

The Bergdahl Release Is Just the Beginning

by Victor Davis Hanson // The Corner (National Review Online)

Photo of Bergdahl via Wikicommons

Photo of Bergdahl via Wikicommons

There has been a lot to think about during these years of Obama’s foreign policy. But the problem is not just the existential issues, from reset to Benghazi, but also the less heralded developments, such as young non-high-school graduate Edward Snowden’s trotting off with the most sensitive secrets of the NSA, the “stuff happens” outing of a CIA station chief in Afghanistan, and the failure to destroy the downed drone that ended up in Iran.

In the latter category falls the mysterious prisoner swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five top Taliban inmates, given that even at this early juncture there are lots of disturbing questions: Why not as the law demanded consult Congress on the releases from Guantanamo, or at least the congressional leadership? Why swap some of the most dangerous and important members of the Taliban hierarchy? What exactly were the circumstances of the original departure of Bergdahl (in 2009 two military officials told the AP that Bergdahl “had just walked off” with three other Afghans), and why were other soldiers requested not to disclose what they knew about the nature of his departure or the costly efforts to find Bergdahl? What exactly is the present U.S. position on trading captives for prisoners/hostages? Do we really believe that the released terrorists will be kept another year in the Middle East?

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Our Bad Habit of Negotiating with Terrorists

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via Wikicommons By Chris Brown

Photo via Wikicommons By Chris Brown

 

Every parent should be happy for the Bergdahl family, whose son was returned to them after five years of captivity among the Taliban. But every parent is not the president of the United States, whose primary responsibility is to protect the security and interests of all Americans, both now and in the long-term. The release of 5 “high-risk”––a phrase meaning they’re eager to kill Americans–– Taliban jihadists held in Guantanamo Bay is nothing more than ransom paid to kidnappers, and an invitation to the enemy to take more Americans captive and to hold them as bargaining chips for more concessions. And the release of hardened, high-ranking Taliban terrorists means there will be more dead Americans after theses soldiers of Allah return to the battlefield.

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