September has been a hard month on the foreign policy front for Obama. His lack of experience is showing. To no one’s surprise, he announced that the U.S. would not be following through with the missile defense shield. The real question here is what, if anything was gained by this move? Did Russia agree to back sanctions against Iran? If so, that’s just peachy, but it doesn’t disarm Iran. Another ally sold out.
Then there’s Honduras. Why is the President publicly siding with the socialist dictators of South America? While it was the military that sent Zelaya packing, they acted on the order of the Supreme Court and Congress based on Zelaya’s violation of the Honduran Constitution. The military is not running the country, the interim President, Roberto Micheletti and Congress are in charge. Unfortunately, Obama’s public stance condemning Zelaya’s removal, along with the freeze on funding and Hillary Clinton’s pulling the US visas of the members of Honduras’ Supreme Court, have created an environment that has encouraged Zelaya and his supporters and undermined democracy in Honduras. Zelaya has now returned to Honduras and a “real” coup may be imminent. Say goodbye to another South American democracy.
Finally, there’s Afghanistan. The President appeased Republicans in the election by being hawkish on Afghanistan, calling it the “war of necessity.” He seemed willing to pursue a strong strategy to ensure victory. The hawk is now looking more like a dove. General McChrystal, was tapped to replace Bush’s choice of General McKiernan, and was touted by Robert Gates as the right man for the job. However, General McChrystal is expected to ask for more troops and suddenly he’s no longer the expert whose advice we should trust? Obama is planning to delay this decision and search for cheaper options. While troops are in harm’s way, delaying a decision on McChrystal’s advice is negligent at best.
How about a trade war with China, anyone?
Obama has had a hard month. He wants to focus on healthcare, but all these pesky foreign policy issues keep coming up. It’s no wonder he’s handled them so ineptly. Multi-tasking is certainly hard.
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