Obama Foreign Policy

Undoing sanctions

Featured image The AP has just broken the story by Bradley Klapper and Matt Lee regarding the prospective unraveling of the sanctions regime in its entirety. Their story is “US finds peeling back the Iran sanctions onion no easy task.” It’s an important story and Omri Ceren has written to comment on it as follows: There’s a lot going on in this piece, it’s 1,100 words, and it gets highly technical very »

More pr for Iran

Featured image Yesterday Bloomberg News broke news of the UN report concluding that the United States and other countries with knowledge fail to report Iran’s sanctions violations. The Bloomberg News story is here. Bloomberg News reports: “United Nations monitors said governments reported no new incidents of Iran violating Security Council sanctions against its nuclear program, even though some have unfolded in plain sight.” The story provides an example from the UN report: »

Strategy? The Democrats Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Strategy!

Featured image President Obama has admitted that he doesn’t have a “complete strategy” to deal with ISIS. Not to worry, though: it isn’t his fault. But I don’t understand what that even means. What, exactly, is an “incomplete strategy”? Whatever it is, Michael Ramirez doesn’t think much of it. Click to enlarge: But it isn’t just Barack Obama. The same inexplicable failure to develop a strategy afflicts Hillary Clinton. As I wrote »

Obama’s uncertain kazoo, cont’d

Featured image Yesterday I noted President Obama’s concession that he lacks a “complete strategy” for defeating ISIS. Thus spake Obama at a press conference related to the G7 meeting in Kruen, Germany. That’s a patently pathetic “partial strategy” he has put on display in Syria and Iraq. It can’t be the fault of the great Obama. Obama implied that the Pentagon has left him without a “complete strategy” at this point: “When »

Obama’s uncertain kazoo, cont’d

Featured image We are deep into the “more mush from the wimp” phase of the Obama presidency. Do we have a strategy for fighting ISIS? I should think he would be embarrassed to admit that we do not, but he can concede that we don’t have “a complete strategy” yet if he can imply that the Pentagon and others are somehow at fault for our current position. Thus spake Obama at a »

Obama’s uncertain kazoo, cont’d

Featured image President Obama emitted tough talk on Russia on his way to the G7 summit meeting of European leaders yesterday. One of his top priorities at the summit, he told hundreds of people in a town square in Kruen, Germany, is “standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine.” Lest there be any misunderstanding, however, Team Obama made it clear that Obama was sounding his reliably uncertain kazoo. The tough talk was »

If we’re not going to put boots on the ground, how about a serious air campaign?

Featured image The conventional wisdom among hawkish conservatives is that ISIS cannot be defeated by U.S. air power unless we also put “boots on the ground.” This may well be true. But it’s also true that the U.S. air campaign against ISIS has not been serious. David Deptula, a retired air force general, provides the evidence: In the campaign against the Islamic State, we are averaging 12 strike sorties per day. During »

Harf v. the Times

Featured image AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee took the lead quizzing State Department spokesman Marie Harf about her issues with the New York Times story on Iran’s growing LEU stockpile (video below, about 16 minutes, also posted here). The exchange took place at today’s press briefing. As we have come to anticipate, the Saturday Night Live element predominates, this time with the benefit of costume jewelry. Below the video I have pasted »

More pr for Iran

Featured image Yesterday David Sanger and William Broad reported in the New York Times that Iran’s nuclear stockpile has grown under the Joint Plan of Action that allegedly froze it (as President Obama has asserted many times). How did Iran’s stockpile of LEU grow? It seems to be suggestive of a cheating heart. The Times story sent the Obama administration into overdrive, picking up the task of public relations on behalf of »

Obama’s Table of Options Shrinks

Featured image Hat tip to NR’s Jim Geraghty at the “Morning Jolt” (subscribe to it at NRO) for this catch: President Obama, in September 2013 joint press conference with Bibi Netanyahu: As President of the United States, I’ve said before and I will repeat that we take no options off the table, including military options, in terms of making sure that we do not have nuclear weapons in Iran that would destabilize the region »

The Supreme Leader draws a supremely hard line

Featured image Is it possible that President Obama would sign off on a nuclear agreement with Iran that did not provide for inspection of Iran’s military sites? We know we’re in trouble when it’s the French Foreign Minister who has allegedly insisted on this point, but we already knew that. The Hill reports: The latest wrinkle arose as talks resumed in Vienna, between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and French Foreign »

Break a Leg!

Featured image John Kerry is a noted sportsman, despite his 71 years. Who can forget how he wind-surfed his way into the hearts of voters everywhere in 2004? Or his goose-hunting excursion in Ohio during the same campaign, where he claimed to have shot a goose–gotta have credibility with these swing-state rubes!–but when he emerged from the woods he wasn’t carrying one; a picture of a dead goose would have been bad »

Is the Iran deal good for us?

Featured image Intelligence Squared US arranged one of its excellent debates on the upper West Side of Manhattan this week. The debate had as its subject the merits of President Obama’s pending arrangement with Iran. Addressing the proposition that the deal is good for the United States, the debate matched Philip Gordon and Amb. Thomas Pickering (for the affirmative) with Michael Doran and Mark Dubowitz (for the negative), with moderator John Donvan »

The rational ayatollah hypothesis

Featured image In his Wall Street Journal column this past Tuesday, Bret Stephens took up “The rational ayatollah hypothesis” (accessible via Google here). That hypothesis — asserted, I would say, as a thesis if not a fact by our Supreme Leader about Iran’s Supreme Leader — holds that economics and other such considerations constrain the anti-Semitic behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran. So about those nuclear weapons that Iran is developing »

Score another one for Iran: Shiite militias fill void left by Obama

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Iraq’s Shiite militias have launched an offensive intended to put a stranglehold on ISIS fighters in Ramadi by cutting off ISIS supply lines and besieging the city. The Shiite militias in question are heavily influenced, if not dominated by Iran. The Badr Organization mentioned in the Post’s report, with its close ties to Iran’s elite Quds Force, is a good example. Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi »

The remarkable rise of Marie Harf

Featured image We have followed the performance of Marie Harf as a spokesman for the Obama administration foreign policy at the State Department. Harf gives the catastrophic foreign policy of the Obama administration a lighter than air, Valley Girl kind of feel. She is a walking self-parody. As such, she presents a novel use of expressive form. Now comes word that Harf is being promoted to Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications to »

The Iraqis’ “lack of will”. . .and Obama’s

Featured image Iraqi troops lack “the will to fight” ISIS, according to Ashton Carter, the Secretary of Defense. Carter is one of the few Obama administration officials whose statements on controversial matters should not be dismissed out of hand, and he may well be right about the Iraqi military. There’s a flip side to this story, though. The Obama administration lacks the will to help the Iraqis fight ISIS. This fact has »