Obama Foreign Policy

Psaki ‘psplains

Featured image At yesterday’s press briefing, State Department spokesman Jen Psaki was asked repeatedly about the 53 political dissidents Cuba seemed to have promised to release as part of the deal to normalize relations with the United States. Who are they? Where are they? Have any of them been released? Do you know? Why can’t you psay? The matter appears to be a highly classified state secret. Pressed by AP State Department »

In Kabul, it feels like the Taliban has already won

Featured image Were it not for the high probability that 2015 will be significantly worse, 2014 would long be remembered as an awful year in Afghanistan. Sufficiently awful for Pamela Constable to write that “the last time Kabul felt like this, the Taliban reigned.” Constable reports: Many winters ago, I stood in a vast, empty intersection of central Kabul. The only sounds were the jingle of passing horse carts and the ticking »

A random thought from Thomas Sowell

Featured image In his most recent column of random thoughts — all of them worthy of your consideration — Thomas Sowell offers this one: Hillary Clinton’s idea that we have to see the world from our adversaries’ point of view — and even “empathize” with it — is not new. Back in 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said, “I have realized vividly how Herr Hitler feels.” Ronald Reagan, however, made sure »

Obama Is Closing Gitmo, One Terrorist At a Time

Featured image President Obama pledged to close the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, but Congress wouldn’t let him move the prisoners to the U.S. So Obama is de facto closing the facility by releasing the terrorists held there. The population is down to 127, after the administration released 28 in 2014. The release of the last five was announced on Tuesday; they will be “resettled” in Kazakhstan. The administration describes these »

Those “Unacceptable” Israelis

Featured image In furtherance of a completely different point, Foreign Policy performed a simple experiment: it used the search engine on the State Department’s web site to determine how often State has described any nation’s conduct as “unacceptable” since the onset of the Obama administration. The results were interesting and, I suppose, sadly predictable: using the State Department search engine, the top 10 countries for whom “unacceptable” was most often used in »

While Obama dithered, Iran profited

Featured image If one headline summarizes 2014, it’s the title of this post (I say so in all modesty). It is a multi-purpose headline — one that applies, at a minimum, to Iraq, Syria, and Iran itself. When it comes to Iraq, no one has stated the facts more clearly than James Jeffrey, who served under President Obama as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2010-2012. Here, via the Washington Post, is »

Mr. Kim, Tear Down This . . . Wait, What?

Featured image By far the most remarkable article of the week was Richard Haass in the Wall Street Journal on Christmas eve, saying it is time for American foreign policy to seek . . . regime change in North Korea! They don’t make ‘em much more Capital-E “Establishment” than Haass, who is president of the uber-establishment Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR is hardly a nest of adventurous Bushoisie neocons. Still, Haass »

Obama, Cuba and Iran

Featured image In his regular Wednesday email to subscribers (you can subscribe at no cost here), the Weekly Standard’s Jonathan Last draws attention to Allahpundit’s December 18 Hot Air post “White House aides: Obama feels liberated and ready to be the president he always wanted to be.” Allahpunit takes up the implications of the Obama administration’s thawing of relations with Cuba in the context of the administration’s ongoing negotiations with Iran. Submitted »

Santa’s Gifts to the World’s Dictators

Featured image Paul wrote yesterday that among the world’s clear winners in 2014 were ISIS, Bashar al-Assad and Iran. To that list we can add the Castro brothers, who may have been rescued from the trash heap by President Obama’s gratuitous aid. Michael Ramirez depicts President Obama as Santa, only he’s gotten his naughty and nice lists confused. Click to enlarge: »

Assad and ISIS are 2014′s biggest winners, thanks in part to Obama

Featured image During the next few days, pundits will be designating their “winners and losers” of 2014. There can be little doubt about the year’s two biggest winners. Clearly, they are Bashar al-Assad and ISIS. Third place goes to Iran, which finds itself in greatly improved economic shape and within striking distance of becoming a nuclear power. But that’s nothing compared to Assad’s remarkable, turnaround year. As Seth Mandel, quoting NPR, reminds »

What a receding tide reveals

Featured image Ukraine’s parliament voted yesterday to remove a legal impediment to joining the NATO defense alliance. The vote ends Ukraine’s “non-aligned” status which it had adopted to assure Russia it would not join NATO. 303 members out of a possible 450 voted for the change. They did so knowing that NATO will not accept Ukraine as a member in the foreseeable future. Membership would carry with it security guarantees. And, as »

Marco Rubio on Cuba

Featured image This morning on the Laura Ingraham show, I talked with Senator Marco Rubio about the Obama administration’s overture toward Castro’s Cuban dictatorship. It is a good interview, I think. Among other things, it focuses on the Cuban regime’s military alliances with pretty much all of our worst enemies, and it reflects Rubio’s seriousness as a public figure. If there is a more earnest politician in the U.S., I can’t think »

Next, let’s poll the police

Featured image From John Fund, I learn that President Obama’s support among members of the military has dropped to 15 percent, according to a survey taken by the Military Times newspaper. The Military Times conducts this survey of approximately 2,300 active-service members every year. In 2009, Obama’s level of support was a none-too-robust 35 percent. It has fallen steadily since, and now is at less than half of the original level. Meanwhile, »

The Cuba appeasement and the latest detainee release — is there a connection?

Featured image Our restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba and the accompanying swap of prisoners have overshadowed the release of six terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay, after the government of Uruguay agreed to accept the six. On the face of things, the two stories seem unrelated. But if we are to believe the president of Uruguay, there is a connection. And the common thread may be President Obama’s laxity (to put it »

On North Korea, Obama Leads From Behind

Featured image On November 24, the news broke that Sony Pictures’ computer system had been hacked. Today, 25 days later, President Obama finally addressed the issue in one of his rare press conferences. In the meantime, Sony had already announced that it is killing the movie that was the apparent cause of the intrusion, “The Interview;” showings of another film, “Team America,” had been canceled, and production of a third film that »

Mark Falcoff: The Cuban paradox

Featured image Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at AEI. He is the author of several books including Cuba the Morning After: Confronting Castro’s Legacy. He writes further to this post on Wednesday: This subject has already been written to death, but may I add a couple more comments? There are two kinds of people who favor normalization of relations with Cuba. One is the person who believes that by freeing up »

Transform this

Featured image It’s a good thing that President Obama wasn’t in charge of American foreign policy during the Cold War. He could have decried the policy of containment followed by more or less faithfully by successive administrations for more than 40 years as an utter failure. At any given point, the Soviet Union was still standing and looked like a permanent fixture on the international scene, right up until the moment it »