Bret Stephens: What Obama gets wrong

Following Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens on Twitter, I was alerted to Bret’s excellent Foreign Affairs piece on Obama’s foreign policy. The piece responds to Gideon Rose’s Foreign Affairs essay, to which Bret links in the first sentence of the piece. I recommend Stephens’s piece; it deserves a wide audience of interested readers. I would have missed it if it weren’t for Twitter. Reading the piece a few days ago, I wanted to draw attention to it and to this paragraph in particular. I felt it jump off the page, so to speak:

[A]s for the country’s friends, here’s a sampler of some of their more candid views. Then Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, secretly taped in 2014: “The Polish-American alliance is worthless, even harmful, as it gives Poland a false sense of security. It’s bullshit.” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, in a 2014 speech: “If your image is feebleness, it doesn’t pay in the world.” The former Saudi intelligence chief Turki al-Faisal, in public comments in 2013: U.S policy toward Syria “would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious, and designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down, but also to help Assad butcher his people.” Earlier this year, Obama invited the heads of state of the Gulf Cooperation Council for a meeting at Camp David. Most sent their deputies and understudies in their place—a gesture of contempt that can be translated from Arabic into English in two words.

Whole thing here.


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