Our bungled foreign policy

It’s time for everybody – especially liberals – to acknowledge that President Barack Obama’s foreign policies have made the world a more dangerous place.

The countries and peoples wanting to inflict pain upon us and our allies are numerous. Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, al-Qaeda and all radical Islamists are the obvious threats. Others lurk in the shadows.

It stands to reason that we should build our defenses, but that is not happening. Instead, the president is pursuing an ideology that guarantees chaos. Benghazi is just the start.

He stepped off on the wrong foot at the beginning of his first term. He appointed Hillary Clinton to be secretary of state. Was she the most qualified person? Certainly not. So why Hillary?

Smart money says it was smart politics. Hillary was a fierce opponent in the Democrat primaries of 2008, and the president didn’t relish the thought of having his hide torn off – again – in 2012. So he stuck Hillary in Foggy Bottom to keep her quiet while he ran for re-election in 2012. Good for Obama; bad for the country.

The president then set out to fulfill his campaign promises.

One was to bring our troops home from Iraq within 16 months. The military withdrawal was completed in December 2011. Mission accomplished. Trouble is, we left behind a huge mess. Sectarian violence continues, and the country is on the verge of imploding.

The situation in Afghanistan is no better. Obama proved to be a weak commander-in-chief who could never get it quite right, so he finally decided to cut and run. He’s pulling troops out faster than military commanders would like, thereby endangering the troops who remain and confounding our NATO allies.

To make matters worse, the Afghan government is corrupt and the Taliban are a growing threat. Total chaos is likely after our departure in 2014.

Summarizing the wars: Thousands of brave men and women have died and billions of U.S. tax dollars have been spent trying to bring stability to the region and in the end, we’ve failed because Barack Obama has weak knees.

Those failures, by the way, will have consequences here in the United States, and one is that the American people will be less likely to support the projection of our military might overseas for any reason in the future. And if we’re unwilling to use our power, we forfeit superpower status.

Let’s turn now to Iran, which is struggling mightily to become a nuclear superpower. The United States is leading the charge against Iran, and the weapon of choice has been economic sanctions. The sanctions haven’t worked, so what’s next? Nothing, apparently.

Obama has repeatedly insisted that “all options are on the table,” but the words ring hollow. He also is sending mixed signals to the world regarding our support of Israel, the nation best positioned to stop Iran.

The president either doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation, or he doesn’t care, or both, and as a result, Iran continues to be a growing threat to world peace.

Obama also has bungled the U.S. response to the so-called Arab Spring.

In 2010, as the unrest was mounting in various Arab nations, the president changed policies. He decided we would support change and democratization, instead of stability. One White House official described the change as a “roll of the dice.”

How has it turned out? Badly. The Arab Spring is marked by ongoing violence, and the two most powerful players in the region – Iran and al-Qaeda – are fighting to fill the power vacuums.

The United States under Obama will not and cannot intervene to restore stability, and so there’s no telling what will happen. Many of our embassies are in harm’s way, according to administration officials.

The president’s foreign policy, then, is creating huge uncertainties, and the one we should be most concerned about is whether we will remain a superpower with the potential, at least, to be a force for good.

George Moore is a retired journalist. Positions he’s held during his 35-year career include newspaper reporter, editor and publisher and executive director of the Montana Newspaper Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in mass communications from Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Randolph County.