One of the great weaknesses of Obama in the white house is both simple and obvious to discern: INEXPERIENCE. In 2008 the American people elected a freshman senator as president of the US—and on occasion, it shows. The current debacle in Syria suggests Obama has a tendency to speak before he thinks things through. And his foreign policy has a disturbingly ad hoc quality to it. In his address to the nation last week, “let me make something clear: the US military doesn’t do pinpricks”—there was a revealing passage toward the end “what kind of world will we live in if the USA sees a dictator brazenly violate international law…and we choose to look the other way”. “I believe we should act,” he declared “that’s what makes America different. That’s what make us exceptional. This invocation of American exceptionalism was not just balm to ears, but an interesting departure form the last time president Obama discussed the subject. Shortly after taking office, in 2009, he was asked at a G-20 summit in London if he believed in American exceptionalism. His tone—sarcastic, dismissive—made it clear that he regarded “American exceptionalism as a silly slogan which had earned obma bemused contempt. A deeper knowledge of modern history and broader experience of the world, might have prevented president obama fro painting himself into the box where he now finds himself.
#10—-THE DAMAGE DONE
Now, four decades after Nixon and Kissinger managed one of the great victories in American policy-making, Obama has opened the door for Moscow to reenter the region. Obama’s Syria blunders—his failure over two and half years to see the conflict as an opportunity to advance American interest. He has drawn a red line, half-heated request for an authorization of military force from congress, his unwillingness to make the case to the American people for striking Assad and his turning Russia into the regional powerbroker at the expense of the US. The tally of American losses at obma’s hand in bases, allies and influence, raises one key question: Can the damage that he has done and is likely to do in the next 41 months be reversed? Putin saw that the American president always needed to look good. Putin spared obama a devastating defeat on Capital Hill by repackaging humiliation as a diplomatic win for a president whose motto is that he came to end wars, not to start them. Putin knew that he had exposed an American president too timid to fire a dozen cruise missile into the Syrian Desert as indecisive, unreliable and weak. To American allies, a president who makes good on neither his promises nor his threats is a liability. If America can’t keep Putin in line, our allies are wondering who else might start punching above their weight and at us?
US allies surely fear that a similar arrangement is in the works over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Obama is likely to take almost any deal with Tehran just to have a piece of paper and get the issue behind him. While the Israelis, Saudis, Emirates, Jordanians and Turks among other Middle East partner contemplate the building chaos in Syria and more important the loss of America power and prestige in the Persian Gulf.
The adm abandoned Iraq without a status of forces agreement. The white house effectively handed influence on the government in Baghdad over to Iran, which has used it as a transport hub to resupply its forces fighting for Assad in Syria. The Syrian dictator, an Iranian ally, still rules, tow years after obama demanded he step down.
When our Asian allies face China and North Korea, are they reassured by US security commitments that may be empty? After all he sold out the Czechs and the poles in 2009 by canceling the missile defense systems. How much more of a supplicant to Moscow will he be now that Putin has helped him save face over Syria? The US does not police the world for the benefit of others; rather we are a superpower with allies around the world because our chief interest and a vital interest of our allies too is a strong America.
Obama has made America less powerful and less respected in the world, and less confident abroad and at home.
Source—weekly standard, lee smith.