Columns

Obama Needs to Answer

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama walks off stage after addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 25, 2012. | Photo: Jason Reed | Link | Barack Obama, President, United Nations, Wave, Hand,

What are the President's foreign policy goals?

Why hasn't there been more disclosure on the reasoning, goals, and strategy behind the dramatic shift in American military and diplomatic policy during President Obama's tenure?

The White House has thoroughly altered the manner in which U.S. national security is maintained. It has also radically amended relations with friend and foe alike. These historic changes have failed to a devastating degree, which makes the lack of explanation about them all the more worrisome.

Substantial reductions have been made in defense budgets, key operative personnel have been cut, major programs have been altered and numerous changes have been made in military leadership positions. The latest information regarding major alterations, as reported in the Washington Free Beacon, reveals that "The U.S. military is set to shutter 15 sites across Europe and reduce the number of active personnel stationed in these areas...This latest realignment follows a series of significant reductions in Europe that have greatly reduced the U.S. military presence there."

This move comes in the wake of the 2014 withdrawal of American tanks from Europe, the 2015 inability of the Navy (due to budget cuts) to have any aircraft carrier presence in the eastern Pacific for a substantial part of this year, and the elimination or significant reduction of plans for the development of defenses against the growing missile threat not only from major current nuclear powers, but from North Korea and Iran as well.

As America has cut its defense spending, Moscow and China have significantly increased theirs, and North Korea and Iran have moved swiftly to enhance their nuclear capabilities.

With the increased confidence that comes from a more powerful military, Russia has invaded Ukraine and threatened Eastern Europe, both with its strengthened conventional forces as well as with its newly emplaced Iskander short range nuclear missiles which it has stationed along its western border. It has continuously threatened European airspace with fighter aircraft, and it has militarized the Arctic. It has initiated nuclear bomber and submarine patrols off the eastern, western, and southern U.S. coasts.

China has moved aggressively against almost all of its oceanic neighbors, even stealing offshore resources from the Philippines. Obama's early withdrawal of troops from Iraq gave rise to the opportunity for ISIS to move in, and a similar move with potentially similar results is underway in Afghanistan.

Throughout the globe, Islamic extremism has been on a significant upswing.

Russia, China, and Iran have all significantly increased their military relations with Latin American and Caribbean nations.

Equally notable changes-and failures- have occurred in Washington's diplomacy. There has been a dramatic shift in Washington's relations with allies and adversaries.

Barack Obama, no pledge
Barack Obama, no pledge

2007: Then Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem, yet Obama refuses to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. | Barack Obama, Pledge, American Flag, Refusal,

Relations with the United Kingdom were endangered as a result of the President's surrendering of British nuclear information to Moscow during the New START treaty negotiations. Relations with Israel have reached an all-time low, at a time when that embattled nation truly needs a solid ally. When a portion of the Philippines exclusive off-shore economic zone was occupied by the Chinese Navy, the U.S. did nothing either diplomatically or militarily, although Washington subsequently agreed to a token increase of military aide and cooperation with Manila, after the crisis had passed.

While estranging old friends and allies, Washington has attempted to endear foes. It essentially agreed to the Kremlin's terms on nuclear weapons and anti-ballistic missile systems. It has softened sanctions on Iran without any meaningful gains. It has opened up relations with Cuba, again without obtaining anything worthwhile in response. It has not responded in any significant manner to Beijing's massive and unprecedented cyber-attacks on American military, governmental, and civilian infrastructures. It has encouraged Arab Spring movements that have strengthened al Qaeda, while toppling the pro-U.S. regime of Hosni Mubarak. Interestingly, the one Arab Spring movement it did not endorse was the "Green Revolution" in Iran which had as its target the vehemently anti-U.S. regime in Tehran.

An explanation of the logic and intentions behind Mr. Obama's comprehensive and failed national security and diplomatic policy is long overdue.

Comment on Disqus

Comment on Facebook

Updated Aug 12, 2017 11:59 AM EDT | More details

AND Magazine AND MAGAZINE

©2017 AND Magazine, LLC
5 Columbus Circle, 8th Floor
New York, New York 10019 USA

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written permission from AND Magazine corporate offices. All rights reserved.