Defining America’s Foreign Policy

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On May 28, 2014, President Obama attempted to layout a clear and decisive foreign-policy vision to recent graduates at West Point. Obama argues for a contradictory foreign policy that relies on NATO and the United Nations while insisting that “America must always lead on the world stage”.

The speech offered no clear mandate for action and no clear framework for a strong and committed American presence in the world. Peel away the rhetoric, and the message was retrenchment and abandonment of responsibility.

The foreign policy we have today lacks a strategic framework that could shape U.S. engagement in the world. As a result, the U.S. has been lurching from crisis to crisis.

This was the overall message delivered to Senators Tuesday by retired U.S. Marine General James Mattis, former CentCom Commander Admiral William Fallon, and former Army Vice Chief General Jack Keane.

“Don’t announce when you’re going to withdraw troops and don’t broadcast military options you’ve ruled out if you want to be successful in war”, Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee. By making clear what the U.S. won’t do, the White House fuels a perception in the Middle East that the U.S. is starting to disengage.

“American influence in this volatile region is as it’s lowest point in four decades”, Mattis noted as he concluded that “there is an urgent need to stop reacting to each immediate vexing issue in isolation”.

Gen. Keane was more blunt in his assessment of the Obama adminstration’s policy in the Middle East describing it as a “failure”. Keane continued, “the unequivocal explanation is U.S. policy has focused on disengaging from the Middle East, while our stated policy is pivoting to the East”.

Our allies in the Middle East have little to no confidence in U.S. leadership and question our resolve as U.S. policy makers have ignored the harsh realities of the rise of our enemy in radical Islam. Moreover, they will not accurately name the movement as radical Islam.

“We choose not to define it, nor explain its ideology and most critical, we have no comprehensive strategy to stop it or defeat it”, stated Keane.

This sentiment was duly reflected on Monday by the former Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Speaking to the National Defense Industry in Washington, Flynn criticized the adminstration for refusing to go as far as to even label our enemies. “You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists” while “accepting a defensive posture, reasoning that passivity is less likely to provoke our enemies”, said Flynn.

Flynn then unloaded on the White House stating that Obama’s blueprint of “retreat, retrenchment and disarmament are historically a recipe for disaster”.

This recipe is even more disastrous given the fact that our enemies know the leadership in the White House is more concerned with exerting political pressure on the military rather than using the military to exert pressure on our adversaries.

Thus, our enemies actively exploit this disconnect under the notion that the White House essentially disregards the concerns of current and former intelligence and military officials within our own government and those of our allies.

The most concerning example of this disconnect comes with the inevitable crisis on the horizon that this adminstration has created by condemning Israel while condoning Iran.

This was brought to the forefront last week as an “unnamed senior U.S. official” claimed “Netanyahu spat in our face” and vowed “there will be a price” for the Prime Minister’s accepting House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address Congress on the threat of radical Islam and Iran’s nuclear program.

Israel has been condemned for it’s stance on Obama’s temporary nuclear agreement with Iran as the President threatens to veto any further sanctions passed by Congress.

The adminstration’s anger at Israel reached a tipping point this week when Daniel Kurtzer, an Obama campaign foreign policy advisor, suggested to the New York Times that the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, should be “reprimanded or removed” for passing along the speaking invitation from Speaker Boehner.

Rather than focusing their grievances on the very real threat faced by a nuclear-armed Iran, the Obama White House is focused on diminishing the credibility of one of our staunchest allies. By undermining Israel the Obama adminstration undermines itself in any future negotiations with Iran.

Without Israel, specifically their ability to exert force if sanctions fall through on Iran, Obama will have relinquished a key dynamic in pressuring Iran in a final nuclear deal. Thus, because of his political ambitions the President will be forced to negotiate a final nuclear agreement from a position of weakness as any real threat to Iran won’t be credible.

Obama’s foreign policy is irresponsible, dangerous, and suicidal. The military has been purged of it’s leadership by men such as Keane, Fallon, Mattis, and Flynn because of their refusal to play politics. It is distressing to see four star General’s speak of how dire the consequences have become under this adminstration’s foreign policy of disengagement.

Obama’s doctrine has shown us that America no longer has an effective way to operate within an infinitely complex environment as the Commander in Chief makes decisions based upon his own core set of principles that are opposite of American ideals.

As Gen. Keane noted, “given the emerging security challenges and limited resources, the need for well crafted regional defense strategies in an overall integrated defense strategy and posture is clear. Yet, this is not what we do”.

Instead of reevaluating our foreign policy we wait for the next attack, however big or small, then respond by micromanaging the threat without actually defeating it.

The greatest danger to the United States, as history has shown us, does not arise from vigilance or the arrogance of American power, but from unpreparedness or an excessive reluctance to fight.

Under Obama we not only exhibit the latter, but we apologize for the former as we accept the fallacy of moral equivalence by blaming America first.

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Circuitous logic drives Obama’s rationale for averting a visit with Netanyahu when the Prime Minister speaks before Congress in March. Truth clashes with reality as Obama’s hate for the Jewish people appears from behind his skirt. America’s amorphous foreign policy is on display with Netanyahu-gate and Obama’s other poorly defined foreign policy gambits. Iran is favored over Israel as Obama releases their 12 billion dollars held up by sanctions that worked. Consequently Obama’s actions, as the aforementioned money release, destabilizes even further, a Middle East about to Explode. IMHO we have more to fear from the White House than any ISIS organization terrorist threat.

  2. bIASED, much? Never mind that the invite is a borderline Logan act violation.. Obama’s hate for the Jewish people,as though you get to that office being anti-Semitic, or as though his former Chief of Staff didn’t have Israeli citizenship. One would think when the country with the most un accounted for nukes, comes to talk about someone else’s nuclear program, people would question more, especially when the aforementioned country is openly and admittedly still practicing colonialism in the 21st century…..

    1. Logan Act violation? I think that you forget the Constitution. The Congress is a coequal branch. It can invite whomsoever it wishes to address the Congress. The President has no say in that, and no law can overrule that constitutional authority.

      1. I forget the Constitution? Drop the condescension, as your assumption’s absolute certainty would require that a similar situtation be spelled out in the Constitution, which I doubt, having read it. I never said anything about the President.

      2. I’ll grant you, I should have said, seems to be a logan act violation: Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

      3. Obama has gone where Presidents feared to tread, rule by Executive fiat. His peripheral dictates to Constitutional principle and legislative authority displays his self-righteous narcissistic behavior disallows him from working with Congress. Extraordinary efforts by Obama to subvert American law brings us to this question: Should Obama be impeached for exercising authorities never granted to him?

    2. Look carefully at the Logan Act. It makes no pretense to regulate Congress, because it has no authority to regulate Congress. The Constitution leaves that task to the Congress itself. When the House of Representatives elected the Speaker of the House it placed on the Speaker the authority to act for the Congress in a variety of capacities, including the authority to invite whom he will to address the House. No Logan Act reach there, because it cannot reach there.

  3. Logan Act violation, nonsense. Obama’s recent intention to sanction Israel for building in Jerusalem yet lifting sanctions on the Iranian nuke program borders on the insane. Obama has displayed his anti-Semitic leanings a multitude of times. Strongly suggest you do your homework before commenting.

  4. So much for the “pivot to the East.” That has been a failure, too. All it has done is threaten China without doing much to increase security vis-a-vis China. The failure of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has eroded confidence in U.S. action elsewhere in the world, including the pivot to the East. Who would be foolish enough to count on us? When does our next “pivot,” to yet somewhere else leave friends in the lurch? The actions of this administration may “pivot” appear a lot like “retreat.”

    1. Exactly and what is even more worrisome is the future ramifications that this administration has created. They have virtually undone all the gains made under Bush and by the time Obama leaves office he will have accumulated more debt than every president before him combined. How is this possible when we were at war under bush but under Obama the “war on terror” is over? How can it be so that a president who went to war accumulated less debt than a president who withdrew us from war? What will the landscape look like when this president leaves office ? According to foreignpolicy.com it’ll look like one country will have gained more power than any other, that being Iran.

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