Obama's foreign policy: Dazed and confused at the White House

Sacrificing our allies, supporting our rivals, and destabilizing vital parts of the globe are the heart of President Obama’s foreign policy. Photo: Charles Dharapak / AP

WASHINGTON, December 10, 2013 — In late 2013, the United States finds itself with no coherent foreign policy. It is led by a president who is better at apologizing for America’s past than in safeguarding its future. He would rather lay blame for his failures than fix them to advance America’s standing and interests in the world.

Recent events such as the Iran nuclear deal have stirred the pot of the president’s foreign policy brew, and a nasty-looking brew it is.


SEE RELATED: Global Iran nuclear deal and the motivations behind it


The United States supported a popular revolution in Egypt, but when the dust settled we found that the country had been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood. That organization is hostile to the United States. Despite that, we pursued a deal to send F-16’s and billions of dollars in aid to them.

Not happy with their new government, Egyptians rebeled again. The military under General Sissi took control and drove the Muslim Brotherhood out. Instead of thanking the general for ridding Egypt of an enemy of the United States, we decided that we don’t like popular revolts after all and debated cutting off the aid we’d provided to the Muslim Brotherhood. Sissi is engaged in what amounts to a guerrilla war in the Sinai, where the Brotherhood is gaining support.

President Obama decided to back Libyan rebels by launching an air campaign against Libya’s President Gadaffi. Gadaffi was a tyrant with blood on his hands for attacks he funded against the West, but he was finally convinced that his best interests lay in suppressing radicals in his country and not directly challenging the United States. 

When Obama decided to change Libya’s regime, radicals hijacked the Libyan civil war. The area has failed to restabilize and has become another training ground for radical Islamist organizations. It has become a relative safe haven for al-Qaeda leaders. We know this because U.S. Special Forces grabbed a high ranking al-Qaeda official in Libya and brought him back to America to stand trial on terror charges.


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At the same time, after a raid by unknown forces several months ago, advanced military equipment was stolen from a U.S. Special Forces depot. The forces and the equipmernt were in Libya to train locar forces to combat radical Islamic groups in Libya. As a result of the theft, Special Forces pulled out, leaving the Libyan government to deal with the rise of al-Qaeda and its allies in the Maghreb on its own.

One post script to Obama’s Libyan adventure is Benghazi. A terrorist attack on our consulate after we had helped liberate Libya into the hands of radicals resulted in the death of four Americans. According to the Obama Administration, this was the result of anger over an anti-Islamic Youtube video.

Obama continues to stall and play the blame game. His administration’s strategy is to not talk about it, or suggest that there are more important things to worry about. “What does it matter,” asked Hillary Clinton. It matters because it makes us look weak, and it makes us look as if we do not protect our own. Not protecting our allies is bad enough, but failing to protect our own ambassador indicates a lack of seriousness and responsibility.

This brings us to Syria. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad allegedly crossed Obama’s “red line” and violated several international treaties and resolutions concerning the use of chemical weapons. While the administration offered little to no proof concerning responsibility for the chemical weapons attacks, it insisted that classified evidence that it couldn’t share showed absolutely that it was Assad.


SEE RELATED: How easy is it to subvert America’s foreign policy in the Mideast?


But it turns out that “if you like your regime, you can keep it.” Obama tried to assemble a coalitionto overthrow Assad, but when France was the only country to follow his lead, Obama decided that it was time to reassess. He decided that going to war with just France at our side was not worth it, because France doesn’t count.

In order to show Assad who’s boss and to emphasize the sacred importance of red lines, we decided to arm Syrian Opposition forces. It turns out that by the time Obama decided to act, leadership of those forces had passed to radical Islamist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda. In order to ship weapons to our new al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) allies, Obama waived a federal statute forbidding aid to terrorist organizations, much to the dismay of both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

This makes no sense. To see how little sense it makes, let’s assemble the big picture:

We continue to fight al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and around the region — but not in Syria. We provide guns to al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria to punish Assad for using chemical weapons, while their allies Al-Shabaab are responsible for atrocities like September’s Kenya mall massacre. Our support of al-Nusra translates into support for its allies, Hamas, which is a mortal enemey of our one strong ally in the region, Israel.

We supported an uprising in Egypt that brought the Muslim Brotherhood, a vehemently anti-American party, to power, then condemned the uprising that swept it from power. We debated cutting off arms shipments to Egypt’s anti-radical new government, then sent arms to radical Islamists in Syria. We agreed to lift sanctions on Iran, which supports the Syrian president our new al-Qaeda-related allies want to overthrow.

Iran is a major benefactor of Hezbollah, which was responsible for the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing that killed hundreds of people. Iran has convinced the major World powers that despite billions of barrles of oil under their feet, the only reason they are enriching uranium is for civilian energy production. Iran also wants to destroy Israel.

That is the Obama Era in a nutshell. Obama, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton are supposedly some of the brightest lights in Washington, and they’ve cleverly managed to sacrifice our allies, punish moderates, support our enemies, arm radicals, inflame complex hatreds that threaten to push the region into war, and sell that as “foreign policy.” Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize. What more could we possibly want from him? Peace?


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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a B.A. from Catholic University in DC in American History, with a concentration on guerrilla warfare on American soil. He has an M.A. in US History from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with a concentration on Cold War insurgency. He believes that all news and all information should be taken with a grain of salt, and implores people everywhere to seek news stories everywhere. 

Higgins is also a fervent believer in the traditional role of media, in terms of acting as a balanced check on government policies and individuals regardless of party affiliation. But in the end, he believes that no matter how heated an issue is, there is nothing that can't be discussed over a smoke and some whiskey. 

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