Things are piling up here.. all sides attacking the WH’s inability to handle the debt crises – as well as some slamming the current non-intervention philosophy in foreign affairs.
The coverstory of Newsweek this week hammers on the lack of a Grand Strategy in the Middle East, and the problems with a multi-faceted and contradictory management of diplomatic relations.
Discussing Egypt, revolutions and US (non) strategy in Foreign Policy.
Ferguson is very outspoken here – calling Clinton and Gates second rate strategists – as well as pointing out some historical facts about sudden revolutions and unpredictable consequences in the Greater Middle East.
From the article:
Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity … and missed it completely.
The result has been a foreign-policy debacle. The president has alienated everybody: not only Mubarak’s cronies in the military, but also the youthful crowds in the streets of Cairo. Whoever ultimately wins, Obama loses. And the alienation doesn’t end there. America’s two closest friends in the region—Israel and Saudi Arabia—are both disgusted. The Saudis, who dread all manifestations of revolution, are appalled at Washington’s failure to resolutely prop up Mubarak. The Israelis, meanwhile, are dismayed by the administration’s apparent cluelessness.
This failure was not the result of bad luck. It was the predictable consequence of the Obama administration’s lack of any kind of coherent grand strategy, a deficit about which more than a few veterans of U.S. foreign policy making have long worried. The president himself is not wholly to blame. Although cosmopolitan by both birth and upbringing, Obama was an unusually parochial politician prior to his election, judging by his scant public pronouncements on foreign-policy issues.
Posted in Misc
Tagged change, ferguson, foreign policy, fp, harvard, history, middle-east, mideast, morning joe, msnbc, news, newsweek, politics, problems, strategy, talks
Seems like the latest batch of wikileaks are doing more harm than just causing embarrassment and providing gossip about state leaders..
From Foreign Policy:
The Palestine Papers – more than 1,600 internal Palestinian documents summarizing negotiations with Israel over the past decade — are no “Palestinian WikiLeaks” aimed at bringing transparency and good government to the Palestinian Authority. Rather, they are a direct attack on the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), its negotiators, and the very idea of negotiating peace with Israel.
New overtures – on Turkey, Israel, India and the US.
- Supports Turkey in EU
- Gaza a “prison camp”
- Improve trade with India – the jewel crown of the Empire
- No more “junior partner” with US
Bold moves. And he starts early.
From the Playbook by Mike Allen:
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, will join the Council on Foreign Relations as distinguished visiting fellow. Peter’s last day at the White House is July 30. The CFR is stocking its fridge with Diet Cokes in preparation for the move.
Henry Kissinger chips in with analysis on the War.
I supported President Obama’s decision to double American forces in Afghanistan and continue to support his objectives.
The central premise is that, at some early point, the United States will be able to turn over security responsibilities to an Afghan government and national army whose writ is running across the entire country. This turnover is to begin next summer.
Neither the premise nor the deadline is realistic.
Then lots of brilliant analysis, but here’s the dilemma:
We have a basic national interest to prevent jihadist Islam from gaining additional momentum, which it will surely do if it can claim to have defeated the United States and its allies after overcoming the Soviet Union. A precipitate withdrawal would weaken governments in many countries with significant Islamic minorities. It would be seen in India as an abdication of the U.S. role in stabilizing the Middle East and South Asia and spur radical drift in Pakistan. It would, almost everywhere, raise questions about America’s ability to define or execute its proclaimed goals. A militant Iran building its nuclear capacity would assess its new opportunities as the United States withdraws from both Iraq and Afghanistan and is unable to break the diplomatic stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program.
This is the big uncertain. As always – you can hear the dark Kissinger paranoia from his teenage years as a young german jew living under the Hitler rule of the 1930s. But you cannot control the world like that – and besides, we’re broke with annual deficits and a $13 trillion debt.
The Mideast policy of the 20th century was founded on Oil, Soviet and Israel. The world has changed a lot since. Good friends and co-operation seems more important than ever.
Posted in Misc
Tagged afghanistan, afpak, big picture, broke, foreign policy, fp, friends, kissinger, new plans, news, paranoia, politics, position, premise, wapo
Strong stuff by editor-in-chief of US News & Reports. But serious stuff.
The reviews of Obama’s performance have been disappointing. He has seemed uncomfortable in the role of leading other nations, and often seems to suggest there is nothing special about America’s role in the world. The global community was puzzled over the pictures of Obama bowing to some of the world’s leaders and surprised by his gratuitous criticisms of and apologies for America’s foreign policy under the previous administration of George W. Bush. Continue reading
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Tagged asia, foreign policy, fp, gelb, middle-east, news, obama, politics, weak, well-meaning, world
Health Bill and new Start treaty with Russia. The second year gains momentum.
The health care President cuts a deal on scrapping nukes.
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Tagged america, foreign policy, fp, geopolitics, medvevev, news, nukes, obama, politics, spine, us
Potus posted a new video on the whitehouse blog yesterday, greeting the Nowruz (new year) celebrations in Persia while in reality condemming the regime for the post-election protest crackdowns last summer, as well as addressing the failure to comply to demands from the international community on the nuclear program and other current issues. This was posted the day before the healthbill vote in the House of Reps, bypassing most of the media attention who’ve been calling for a stronger language for months. Clip.
And a fellow blogger picked up a Scottish newspaper reporting on huge shipments of bombs from California to the Indian Ocean – indicating a possible closing attack on Iranian facilities according to some military experts. Blog.
Posted in Misc
Tagged attack, bombs, foreign policy, fp, hardening fronts, iran, news, obama, persia, politics, sanctions, us