Obama Foreign Policy

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 »

As Iraq Crumbles, Obama Responds

Featured image As I wrote last night, the situation in Iraq has grown dire. The heretofore unthinkable possibility that an al Qaeda branch could gain control of the majority of OPEC’s second-largest oil producer is suddenly on the table. What does the Obama administration have to say about the crisis in Iraq? Bloomberg News reports: The U.S. has yet to respond to a request from Iraq made last month to mount air »

Obama successes in the Middle East? The Washington Post can’t find them

Featured image I have been searching, so far in vain, for Obama foreign policy success stories in the Middle East. The Washington Post’s editors fare no better in their search: In Syria, where for three years Mr. Obama has assiduously avoided meaningful engagement, civil war has given rise to “the most catastrophic humanitarian crisis any of us have seen in a generation,” Mr. Obama’s United Nations ambassador Samantha Power said in February. »

Let’s make a deal — Hezbollah edition

Featured image The Obama administration is mighty impressed with itself for having proved it can make a deal with the Taliban. Now, it would like to make one with Hezbollah. John Kerry said last week that the Lebanon-based terrorist outfit could have a role to play, alongside Russia and Iran, in bringing about a “legitimate” political solution in Syria. The sky is the limit in these heady days of diplomacy, Obama style. »

Obama spinners confirm primacy of dealmaking as driver of Bergdahl deal

Featured image Since the day the Bergdahl deal was announced, I’ve suggested that President Obama was motivated less by a desire to bring back this particular prisoner than by a desire to make a deal — almost any deal — with the Taliban. Obama himself tipped his hand when, in announcing the deal, he said it could “open the door for broader discussions [with the Taliban] about the future of [Afghanistan] by »

Barry H. Patton Explains How Wars Are Won

Featured image Michael Ramirez brings his genius to bear on the Bergdahl fiasco; he imagines our president as George Patton, only more befuddled. Click to enlarge: Of course, to be fair, I don’t suppose anyone ever thought that Obama intended to win the war against Islamic extremists. »

Israel to expand settlement construction, as Obama’s Middle East policy collapses

Featured image Israel has announced that it will move ahead with the construction of approximately 1,500 housing units in settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. In addition, it will proceed with the planning of 1,800 more units. All of the construction will take place in areas Israel insists it will retain in any future deal with the Palestinians. In addition, as I understand it, the latest construction bids would have been »

The wanderers — Obama and Bergdahl

Featured image The team leader of Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon the night he went missing says that when he searched for Bergdahl, he heard a radio report that an American was wandering around looking for someone who spoke English to take him to the Taliban. The report came from the area where Bergdahl was believed to be, and the soldier concluded that the American in question was, in fact, Bergdahl. Bergdahl’s quest to »

Rat Deserts Sinking Ship

Featured image With Barack Obama’s foreign policy devolving into an embarrassment, Hillary Clinton and her friends in the press are trying to create some distance between Obama and his Secretary of State: “Clinton recalls foreign policy disagreements with Obama in book: report.” For one thing, Clinton presciently worried about exchanging Taliban leaders for Bowe Bergdahl: With controversy swirling over Obama’s move to swap five Taliban militants held at the U.S. prison at »

Obama foreign policy successes? Not Syria

Featured image We continue our look at Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East (see here for Egypt and here for Libya) with a discussion of Syria. Actually, it requires no discussion to conclude that Syria is no Obama foreign policy success story. The results say it all. Victory for not just Assad but his backers, Iran and Hezbollah. The rise of al Qaeda and other jihadist outfits in portions of the »

The mullahs read Obama

Featured image In another harsh editorial — “Hapless Obama” — the New York Daily News reports on the mullahs’ reading of Obama: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has bluntly taken the measure of President Obama as a paper tiger — and the United States commander has only himself to blame. Delivering an address on a stage hung with a banner that read “America cannot do a damn thing,” Khamenei Wednesday sneeringly »

Why Obama had to have the Bergdahl deal

Featured image Fox News reports that the Obama administration decided back in December to try to secure Bowe Bergdahl’s release through a prisoner exchange rather than a cash payment. Having made that decision, Team Obama never asked the intelligence community for a formal assessment of the risk of releasing the five high-value Taliban commanders. Fox also reports that Defense Secretary Panetta and Director of National Intelligence Clapper opposed the swap when the »

Americans Agree: Obama Is An Incompetent Who Has Made America Weaker

Featured image This joint Democrat/Republican poll reported by the Washington Post reflects what I take to be the consensus on Barack Obama’s failed presidency: A majority of voters say the Obama administration is less competent than Bill Clinton’s and a plurality say it is less competent than George W. Bush’s according to a new Fox News poll released Wednesday. Sixty-eight percent say the Obama administration is less competent that the Clinton administration. »

Mad Magazine on the Bergdahl Fiasco [Updated]

Featured image I read Mad magazine a long time ago–50 years or more. This was long before anyone thought of getting serious political commentary from comedy shows and publications, and I don’t recall Mad having a political slant. It was generally transgressive, however, and that tradition apparently continues. Mad weighs in on the Bowe Bergdahl disaster: Recently, President Obama exchanged five Taliban leaders for an American POW, Bowe Bergdahl. One prisoner for »