Obama Foreign Policy

The Carter-Obama parallel

Featured image James Kirchick compares the foreign policy records of Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. He finds that President Obama’s is worse. I agree with Kirchick. As he explains, Carter eventually saw the error of his weak ways and changed course, though it took a series of major setbacks for him to accomplish this. With Obama we have had the serious setbacks — e.g., the Benghazi attacks, the rise of al Qaeda »

Voters Blame Obama, Bush Equally for Iraq Crisis

Featured image That is what Rasmussen Reports finds, anyway: Voters are evenly divided over whether it was the actions and policies of George W. Bush or Barack Obama that have contributed more to the crisis in Iraq today, but the current administration gets lackluster reviews for its response thus far. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 31% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the Obama administration’s handling of the situation »

The fruit of Obama’s leftism arrives en masse at our border

Featured image There is no genuine dispute that President Obama is responsible for the sudden mass influx into the U.S. of adolescent immigrants from Central America. Dreams of sanctuary under the DREAM Act and via Obama’s pen convinced Central American families to hand their children over to coyote networks that would take them across Mexico and the Rio Grande. But Michael Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation, writing in the National Interest, shows »

No bright line separates ISIS and al Qaeda

Featured image A source from deep within the intelligence world has commented on my post about Walter Russell Mead’s article concerning ISIS. Mead’s thesis is that ISIS is more radical, better organized, and better financed than al-Qaeda. And now that it controls some of the most strategic territory at the heart of the Middle East, ISIS poses a greater threat to the United States than any of its jihadist predecessors. My source »

The jihadi menace reaches a high water mark

Featured image “From the ruins of the Obama Administration’s Middle East strategy, the most powerful and dangerous group of religious fanatics in modern history has emerged in the heart of the Middle East.” So says Walter Russell Mead, the distinguished historian of American foreign policy (who reportedly has said he voted for Barack Obama in 2008). The fanatical group in question is, of course, ISIS. According to Mead, who cites analysts at »

Rand Paul lets Obama off the hook in the Middle East

Featured image Rand Paul said today on Meet the Press that he does not blame President Obama for the instability in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East; instead he blames President Bush. Paul told an undoubtedly delighted David Gregory: What’s going on now I don’t blame on President Obama. Has he really got the solution? Maybe there is no solution. But I do blame the Iraq war on the chaos that »

Gaffe Time?

Featured image Two old remarks come back to mind as we survey the fraying foreign policy of Barack Obama.  The first is Henry Kissinger’s description of the achievement of Jimmy Carter, circa 1980: “The Carter administration has managed the extraordinary feat of having, at one and the same time, the worst relations with our allies, the worst relations with our adversaries, and the most serious upheavals in the developing world since the end »

Obama’s pathetic Iraq adviser surge

Featured image The Washington Post editorial board sees a parallel between the “foreign-policy” disaster that President Obama confronts in Iraq and the one President Bush confronted at the end of 2006: [Bush] had ordered an invasion of Iraq without a sufficiently large force to occupy the country and without a well-considered plan for its reconstruction. Under his direction, the Iraqi military and government were dismantled with nothing to take their place, and »

So Happy Together…

Featured image It is remarkable how little it took for some observers to start recommending that the U.S. should cooperate with Iran in quelling the extremist takeover of much of Iraq. If you tried to follow the logic, you could get whiplash. Then there is the practical question: how, exactly, would such cooperation work? Michael Ramirez offers an answer to that question; click to enlarge: Well, why not, if the Mullahs are »

The world continues to confound our clueless president

Featured image Many of President Obama’s foreign policy failures are the product of his badly misguided ideology. But some flow simply from his inability to understand how the world works. (The two defects are, of course, related). Take the current crisis in Iraq. The country is disintegrating, Iraqi soldiers are deserting, some of those who aren’t have been executed barbarically, and Baghdad is under serious threat. What does Obama do? He urges »

The great unraveling

Featured image In one of the PBS series that engages American history (was it The American Experience? Frontline? I don’t remember and can’t find it online), the producers took a look back at the Carter administration. The show I’m thinking of would have been broadcast some 20 years ago. Former Vice President Mondale was interviewed for the show. In a clip toward the end, Mondale recited a litany of woes that beset »

Obama’s partner, the Iranians

Featured image As I noted here, President Obama reportedly intends to open direct talks with Iran on how to counter the Islamist blitzkrieg by Sunni insurgents in Iraq. Yet, as Omri Ceren of The Israel Project reminds us, a mere six weeks ago, the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism concluded that Iran is actively working to undermine Iraqi stability through terror groups. Significantly, for present purposes, the report assessed that »

Obama seeks to leverage his Iraq debacle into rapprochement with Iran

Featured image In the post immediately below this one, I argue that President Obama now “owns” Iraq because his unwillingness seriously to negotiate a status of forces agreement led directly to Iraq’s current chaos. Obama, of course, doesn’t see it this way, but he is belatedly looking for ways to prevent the complete disintegration of Iraq. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, according to The Wall Street Journal, Obama’s »

Iraq before Obama

Featured image What was Iraq like at the end of the Bush administration. David French of NRO was there, in the roughest parts. Here’s what he says: I remember what Iraq was like in late 2008, when I left. My unit. . .had largely cleared out one of the last areas of al-Qaeda dominion in Iraq. At high cost we had taken thousands of square kilometers back from enemy control, broken the »

Iraq: What is to be done?

Featured image With Iraq “shattered by a jihadist blitzkrieg” (to quote the Washington Post), President Obama is weighing his options. “It’s fair to say. . .there will be some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily,” Obama hedged. What should “be done militarily”? I agree with Max Boot who says that “the U.S. should offer to provide not just airpower but intelligence analysts, military advisers, Special Operations Forces, and other »

Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” Moment

Featured image The crisis in the Middle East is way too serious for political opportunism. On the other hand, the Democrats have engaged in nothing but political opportunism with regard to that region since 2003. So why not point out that we are experiencing Barack Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” moment? Has an American president ever been so clueless about the state of the world? I created that graphic, so if you like it, »

Right and Wrong On Iraq

Featured image In the 2012 election, Mitt Romney expressed concern about Russia and said that he thought the Obama administration’s precipitous withdrawal from Iraq was a mistake. Obama ridiculed Romney’s “Cold War” mentality and claimed the Iraq skedaddle as one of his greatest foreign policy achievements. Here is what Romney said about Iraq: Wow. Look at what Romney said about the Iraq withdrawal. What a crazy. So out of touch. Glad we »