There is no organizing principle in this White House’s leadership, because there is no coherent strategy. “Not doing stupid stuff” is not a strategy. Thanks, Hillary, for the crafty rendition of innocent bystander here, just before your political campaign begins in earnest. Your attempt at distance from the current foreign policy is pretty hollow…
Obama has taken a feckless and detrimentally cautious position on foreign policy, and he projects weakness to both our allies and foes. His delusional “Nobel Peace Prize” approach to leading on the world stage is essentially three-pronged: a) Do no harm; b) Apologize for American strength; and c) Talk more with (i.e., appease) our enemies. *A possible fourth prong is: “filibuster” whenever asked about the first three.
He must have napped in History class when the 1940s were covered, concerning appeasement of irrational evil. ISIS is not waiting around for a more representative government in Baghdad. Give me a break. Pursuant to the Obama doctrine, we stand by (eg., golf vacation) and wait for bad things to happen; then, we react out of chaos and without leverage.
The Iraq withdrawal was a blunder on a colossal scale from which Obama cannot separate himself nor blame the Bush Administration. Although he tries to deflect blame, he owns this. Taking a premature victory lap, he gloatingly withdrew our troops in a “Mission Accomplished” styled pomp and display. His delusions of peace and appeasement harken back to his tired refrain, “Al Qaeda is on the run.” Now, it is more delusion with, “No victors; nor vanquished?” “Push ISIS back?” How do we “push ISIS back? Back to where? They’re home.
We can blame the impotent Iraqi government all day long for not supporting a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), but let’s face it, any competent administration would have gotten correct one or more of the following observations:
1) The central Iraqi government was losing control under Nuri al-Maliki and was creating a political powder keg with lopsided Shia representation and disenfranchised Sunni factions;
2) Our abrupt withdrawal (instead of calculated draw-down) would create a catastrophic vacuum;
3) ISIS is not the “JV Team,” and I seriously doubt our military intelligence got that wrong, as our satellites captured them storming across the region beheading men, women and children.
Obama’s approach to everything is “managing our decline,” as opposed to leading us forward. As John Huntsman has claimed, he is a partisan divider with no idea how to negotiate a deal–neither home nor abroad. In international diplomacy, he feebly tries to walk a fine line between peace/ reason and strength while sliding about like the town drunk, arguing and picking fights with anyone who tries to discuss the car keys.
He now talks about building an inclusive government in Baghdad? Too late. That should have been done prior to withdrawal. The city is surrounded by ISIS now, and they are not interested in compromise. We have no strategy with targeted pea shooter strikes. The president refuses to say that ISIS has to be eliminated. There is no other Iraqi government anymore. The government in Baghdad is a municipal government. His only option now is a frantic reactive effort to arm the Kurds–hoping they can sweep up the mess.