The top 10 foreign policy failures of the Obama administration

This well-footnoted list of Obama’s top 10 foreign policy blunders is from the Romney/Ryan campaign.

The list:

  1. No Results In Slowing Or Stopping Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program
  2. Endangering Our Mission In Afghanistan And Weakening Our Relationship With Pakistan
  3. “Unconscionable” Leaks Of Classified Counterterror Information From The White House That Have Been “Devastating”
  4. “Devastating” Defense Cuts That Will Cede Our Status As A “Global Power”
  5. A Damaged Relationship With Israel And A Moribund Peace Process
  6. No Coherent Policy To Stem The Humanitarian And Strategic Disaster In Syria
  7. A “Reset” With Russia That Has Compromised U.S. Interests & Values
  8. Emboldening The Castros, Chávez & Their Cohorts In Latin America
  9. Getting Beaten Badly By Competitors On Trade
  10. Putting Our Interests At Risk By Mismanaging The Transition In Iraq

Each of these would devastating to Obama’s re-election effort on their own. Taken together, you have to wonder whose side he is really on.

Here’s my favorite:

Failure #1: No Results In Slowing Or Stopping Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program

Today, Iran is on the cusp of nuclear weapons capability. Such a capability in the hands of the world’s top terrorist sponsoring state poses the greatest threat facing the United States and our friends and allies, and it risks sparking a nuclear arms race across the Middle East.

Despite promising to “do everything in his power” to stop Iran, four years of President Obama’s irresolute policies have failed to slow the progress of Iran’s program. In fact, that progress has sped up:

  • Fastest Rate Of Enrichment Ever. In 2009, Iran’s enrichment rate of low-enriched uranium was 56 kilograms per month.  That jumped to 116 kilograms per month from November 2011 to February 2012. The enrichment rate now stands at 158 kilograms per month, the fastest rate ever.[1]
  • More Spinning Centrifuges. The total number of spinning centrifuges has gone from 3,936 to 10,477 during Obama’s term. The growth rate of spinning centrifuges went from 112 centrifuges per month before Obama came into office to 152 centrifuges per month during his term.[2]
  • Fordow Underground Enrichment Facility Nearing Completion. The fortified underground facility is 70 percent complete. The number of centrifuges installed has gone from 1,064 in May to 2,140 today. The facility’s limit is 3,000 centrifuges.[3]

The Iranian program has gotten to this point because President Obama has squandered all credibility with the ayatollahs:

  • A Failed Engagement Policy. President Obama offered the ayatollahs “no preconditions” talks, which were rebuffed. The latest round of multilateral talks has produced no results.
  • Refrained From Supporting The Green Movement. When asked during a press conference, President Obama shamefully refused to voice support for Iranian dissidents in 2009 as they were being killed in the streets, saying he did not want to “meddle” in Iran’s affairs.
  • A Weak Sanctions Policy. President Obama opposed and sought to water down crippling sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank until he was forced into them by Congress and our European partners.[4] He then undermined those sanctions by issuing waivers to 20 of the top importers of Iranian oil, including China.[5]
  • Abandoned Missile Defense. He abandoned a European missile defense system meant to protect against Iranian missiles.
  • Undermined The Credibility Of The Military Option. His administration has given the Iranians no reason to believe it is serious about a military option. The administration has repeatedly talked down the effectiveness and advisability of the military option, and seems to have devoted more energy toward preventing an Israeli strike on Iran than toward preventing an Iranian nuclear weapons capability. Obama officials leaked that the administration has focused its efforts on explaining to Israel “the dangers of an Israeli attack” on Iran and has attempted to “make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel.”[6] And the President himself, after boldly stating to AIPAC that the United States “has Israel’s back,” changed his tune two days later by saying his statement was “not a military doctrine.”

In the face of such irresolution, the ayatollahs are pressing forward toward nuclear weapons capability without fear of repercussion because they do not believe we are serious.

And another:

Failure #3: “Unconscionable” Leaks Of Classified Counterterror Information From The White House That Have Been “Devastating”

The Obama White House has released a torrent of leaks of classified counterterror information that has compromised our national security by revealing covert sources and methods. The pace of the leaks quickened as the November election drew nearer, raising the question of whether they were politically motivated. But whether the leaks were politically motivated and intentional or the result of bad management and sloppiness in neither here nor there.  Either case is unacceptable and injurious to the intelligence operatives and uniformed men and women in the field.

Criticism of the leaks has been bipartisan:

  • John Brennan, President Obama’s own counterterror chief and Deputy National Security Adviser, has called the leaks “unconscionable,” “damaging,” and “devastating.”[10]
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has criticized the leaks and stated that they are coming from the White House. She said, “Each disclosure puts American lives at risk, makes it more difficult to recruit assets, strains the trust of our partners, and threatens imminent and irreparable damage to our national security in the face of urgent and rapidly adapting threats worldwide.”[11]

Despite the damage done, President Obama has refused to support the appointment of a special counsel to investigate these leaks and hold those responsible accountable. The special counsel mechanism is designed for just such circumstances where the impartiality of normal prosecutors may be compromised because someone in the high chain of command in the White House may be implicated.

The damaging leaks include:

  • Operational details about the Osama Bin Laden raid.
  • Existence of a Pakistani doctor who assisted the United States in finding Bin Laden and who was later arrested and jailed in Pakistan.
  • Revelation of a covert joint U.S.-Israeli cyber operation to undermine Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
  • The existence of a double-agent who was key to unraveling the second underwear bomb.
  • The White House’s process for determining the targets of drone strikes.

And one last one:

Failure #7: A “Reset” With Russia That Has Compromised U.S. Interests & Values

Mere months after Russia invaded its neighbor Georgia, the Obama Administration came into office vowing to “reset” relations with Russia, saying it would lead to more cooperation on Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan. That reset has garnered little improvement in our relationship with Russia and no new meaningful cooperation.

Among President Obama’s concessions to Russia were:

  • Abandoning A European Missile Defense System. The unilateral abandonment of a missile defense system to be based in Poland and the Czech Republic and completed by 2013 was a sop to Russia, which had sought to intimidate our allies and discourage them from agreeing to the system in the first place. They agreed to it despite the pressure. To add insult to injury, he announced his decision on September 17, 2009—the 70th anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Poland.
  • New START. President Obama’s signing of the New START treaty compromised U.S. interests in two respects. First, it linked U.S. missile defense systems to reductions in our nations’ respective nuclear arsenals. This linkage jeopardizes our ability to deploy missile defense systems.  Second, the limits it sets on the number of Russian launchers and warheads were above what Russia possessed in its nuclear arsenal at the time.[22] In other words, New START gave Russia room to expand its arsenal while requiring the United States to reduce its arsenal.
  • “Flexibility” After The Election. In a hot mic moment, President Obama promised Russia’s leaders even more “flexibility” on missile defense and other issues in exchange for more “space” prior to the November election. It was a telling moment of weakness, one that has shaken our allies and raised the persistent question of what President Obama is planning to do post-election that he can’t tell the American people now.
  • Kid Gloves For Russia’s Human Rights and Democracy Problems. President Obama has soft-pedaled Russia’s backsliding on democracy and human rights. The Obama Administration has opposed the Magnitsky Bill that would sanction human rights abusers in Russia, preferring to grant Russia permanent normal trade relations free from any new human rights measures. President Obama even congratulated Vladimir Putin in a phone call from Air Force One on winning a corrupt election.

In return for these concessions, Russia has given little save for obstruction at the U.N., support for rogue regimes, and bellicose behavior.

  • Obstruction On Syria. Three times, Russia has wielded its veto power along with China to block U.N. Security Council Resolutions aimed at stopping the violence in Syria and sanctioning the Assad regime.
  • Arms To Syrian Regime. Russia has supplied arms to the Syrian Army during its brutal crackdown on Syrian civilians.
  • Obstruction On Iran. Russia succeeded in watering down a 2010 set of U.N. sanctions on Iran, preventing the inclusion of sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank. Since that time, Russia has successful blocked binding U.N. sanctions on the Central Bank and has criticized individual nations’ sanctions on the Central Bank, calling such efforts “unacceptable.”
  • Push To Close U.S. Airbase Vital To Mission In Afghanistan. Instead of helping American efforts in Afghanistan, Russia urged Kyrgyzstan to close down a U.S. military base that is a vital transit point for troops and supplies moving in and out of Afghanistan. It is the only such transit base the United States has in Central Asia.[23]
  • Cozying To Chávez. Closer relations between Moscow and Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela, including new deals on nuclear power cooperation, increased arms sales, and a $4 billion loan agreement.
  • Continued Abuses Of Political And Human Rights. Putin’s re-election as President came on the wings of a corrupt election. And he has continued to consolidate power, sending dissidents and even punk rockers who dare criticize him to jail on trumped up charges.
  • Return Of Cold War Rhetoric. Since announcing plans to resume his former office, Putin has employed the harshest anti-American rhetoric seen since the Cold War and has stepped up harassment of U.S. officials on Russia soil.

I really recommend reviewing these and please send them along to your friends who can vote. These are not things you see reported in the mainstream media, who seem to be more concerned about whether a 30-year-old law student gets taxpayers to pay $3000 per student for contraceptives.

2 thoughts on “The top 10 foreign policy failures of the Obama administration”

  1. I agree. Item #3 (Reset) typifies the foreign policy of this regime. When Secretary Clinton presented Russian leaders with a “reset” button, she used the wrong word on the button. In itself, this is a minor thing, but it represents the entire policy.

    Like

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