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Obama Seeks Ground Between Isolation/Intervention

From Obama’s first responders at the Associated Press:

Obama seeks ground between intervention, isolation

By JULIE PACE and JIM KUHNHENN | May 28, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Seeking to redefine America’s foreign policy for a post-war era, President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared that the United States remains the only nation with the capacity to lead on the world stage –

Despite his best efforts. Including gutting our military and cutting our nuclear arsenal to the bone.

But argued it would be a mistake to channel that power into unrestrained military adventures.

Does that mean he isn’t going to send troops to train the Al Qaeda-supporting terrorist ‘rebels’ in Syria? That he is going to bring the troops back from Chad? And those he sent to the Congo to find the Lord’s Resistance Army?

Is he going to apologize for using our military to help overthrow Gaddafi in Libya, which is now in the control of the terrorists? And which led to Benghazi?

Obama’s approach, outlined in a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy, underscored his efforts to straddle the line between global isolation and intervention. Neither view, he said, "fully speaks to the demands of this moment." …

Because most people are either for isolationism or they want to intervene everywhere in the world. Luckily, Obama has uniquely realized that there is a middle ground.

Obama has often struggled to articulate not only what should fill the space between intervention and isolation but also any success the administration has had in finding that middle ground. His preferred tool kit, which includes economic sanctions, diplomatic negotiations and international coalition building, rarely generates quick fixes and is often more ambiguous than more easily explained military action.

The results of Obama’s sanctions are not "more ambiguous." They have failed miserably every time they have been tried. (Cf. North Korea, Iran, Syria, Russia.)

The president’s strategy also has garnered mixed results. While diplomacy and sanctions have brought the U.S. and Iran closer to a nuclear accord than ever before, neither approach has stopped the bloodshed of Syria’s four-year civil war or prevented Russia from annexing territory from Ukraine.

We are no closer to stopping Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb. That is simply a lie.

The result at home has been a drumbeat of criticism from Republicans and others who say the president has squandered America’s global leadership and emboldened international foes in Syria and Russia, as well as China. The public’s approval of the president’s foreign policy has declined, even as his policies hew closely with Americans’ stated opposition to more military conflicts.

Remember, Obama used to poll his highest on foreign policy. But that was only because nobody was paying attention.

Obama’s speech on Wednesday was part of concerted White House effort to answer critics and more clearly define his foreign policy philosophy…

And it did neither. In fact, his speech was  a lot like a Maya Angelou poem. It was full of a lot of nice sounding words, but it was devoid of any true meaning.

He outlined plans to seek approval from Congress for $5 billion that could be used to help countries fighting terrorism, foreshadowed a more robust U.S. military program to train and equip vetted Syrian rebels and declared that seeking international consensus through the United Nations or NATO is an example of American leadership, not weakness.

The president vigorously defended his belief that unilateral American military action should be reserved for instances where core national interests are challenged or the public’s safety is in jeopardy.

So why didn’t he send troops to Benghazi? And why is he sending troops to Syria and Nigeria and Chad and the Congo?

He told the graduating cadets: "I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing…"

So he’s not going to send troops to Syria? Nigeria? Chad? The Congo? What are our national interests there?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, May 29th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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