Sunday, 8 May 2016

Obama Administration Foreign Policy Blunders

Generally, I could probably suggest over forty screw-ups for this administration, and just as many for the Bush or Clinton Administration.  Foreign policy means risk, and continual adjustments....which is something that most political administrations aren't capable of taking on.

For this essay, I'll limit my pick to ten:

1.  The Russia 'Reset' idea.  On day one, with Secretary of State Clinton at the head.....the effort was to reset all of the past Russia-US screw-up's and start fresh on some new agenda.  The problem is....there never was a clear agenda....so there never was a 'reset'.  The gimmick was bogus and worked well for marginal reporters to continually talk over the subject but never show any constructive relationships.  The personal relationship between Putin and Obama?  Non-existent and you can see by body language that Obama really doesn't like having to be int he presence of Putin.

2.  Arab Spring involvement.  Whether it was just insiders to the Obama administration helping, or staff members of the administration helping....the whole connection of the Obama administration to Arab Spring....has been a failure.  There's not a single country that went through the Arab Spring process.....that has any kind of positive story to tell.  Some people now believe that Arab Spring was some college thesis paper that the Saudis got pepped up on, and insiders to the administration agreed upon.  In twenty years, historians will have problems in telling the story because it has some many loose ends.

3.  Benghazi.  Five Americans are dead (one is an ambassador).  Any number of idiots could have stood up and raised some flag and ordered some help to be sent.....yet never made a single move.  It isn't a slam against President Obama himself, but the next ten people after that....who could have done something, and just sat and watched.

4.  ISIS.  In the beginning stages of Arab Spring in Syria, you could see through the groups and readily identify ISIS even at this point as being a future problem.  Nothing was said.....nothing was done, and today, you have major security threats throughout the Middle East, Europe and most expect the ISIS thugs to eventually reach the US.

5.  Crimea.  When the whole Ukraine episode was falling apart (thanks partially to the EU dimwits).....there could have been a cooling off period suggested by a competent US president and some avenues explored to fix the Crimea issue.  Instead, nothing was done, and it sits today as a wannabe country attached to Russia.  Before the annexation, Crimea did enjoy a fair amount of tourism....which meant cash flowed through the coastal areas of the region.  Today?  Who wants to tour the Crimea?

6.  Calling ISIS "JV" (Junior Varsity).  It was a off-the-cuff comment, which the President probably picked up from one of his trusted advisers.  In the news media.....it just kept rolling and being used daily by news media experts.  Most people laugh about it now.

7.  Using the Keystone pipeline episode as some international crisis and involving the State Department.  You can twist this forty different ways and it's just comical how the State Department staked out their position and this continually was used as the problem to overcome.

8.  Bowe Bergdahl swap.  Within twenty-four hours after the swap was announced....the administration was already realizing that Bergdahl was some loser and this whole deal was more about getting rid of five more Gitmo prisoners than getting Bergdahl back.

9.  The Fast and Furious clean-up.  Part of the Fast and Furious mess was created by the Bush team, but the Obama administration was incompetent at fixing or resolving the mess.  It still lingers there, waiting for some federal judge or competent source to fix.

10.  The 2009 Green Revolution.  This was the start up of Arab Spring.....in Iran.  Oddly, the administration stood there and did practically nothing in this one single case (unlike the other Arab Springs), and the whole revolution attempt in Iran just died off quickly.  To this date, no one in the administration can explain why this was such a marginal effort.....compared to the other dozen attempts.

The one major positive?  Cuba.  After fifty long years....they dismantled the whole trade embargo, and will now turn Cuba into the fifty-first state (at least economically).  Sadly, the Cubans will lose their look and be more like Miami within five years.