Obama’s Failed “Smart Diplomacy”

Back in the 2008 presidential election, Obama promised he would engage in “smart diplomacy.” This was an interesting claim because Obama had no executive experience in negotiations or experience in foreign affairs.

Six years later he is trying to create a multi-national coalition to combat ISIS. So far, not much has been achieved according to foreign affairs experts.

Austin Bay, who is a prominent writer on foreign and military affairs, wrote this about Obama’s diplomacy.

“Diplomacy as practiced by professionals is the architectural pursuit of interim agreements in order to achieve long-range objectives. Diplomatic ‘breakthroughs’ are rare. Those that occur have deep roots based on long-term political reliability and clearly converging immediate interests. President George H. W. Bush used these levers (and personal experience) when he created the Desert Shield alliance following Saddam Hussein’s August 1990 Kuwait invasion.”

As Bay pointed out, Rudy Guiliani was correct when he said that “smart diplomacy did a disservice to diplomacy.”   The reason is the belief that diplomacy could “solve nearly all problems, even those involving people dedicated to our destruction. When such efforts fail, as they inevitably do, diplomacy itself is blamed, rather than the flawed approach that led to their failure.” To achieve a realistic peace, Guiliani stated that American “diplomacy must be tightly linked to our other strengths: military, economic and moral.”

Yet we have a president who is bankrupting our nation with his wasteful spending resulting in a huge unsustainable debt and downgrading our military. The money that should be pumped into our military and border protection in this time of crisis is being spent on illegal immigrants, green energy projects, ObamaCare and paying the interest on our debt.  As the nation grows poorer (Government statistics show the decline of the middle class, more people below the poverty level and more people on welfare and disability than ever before.), we face increasing dangers because the president and his advisors want to play politics rather than develop means to solve our problems.

Buttressing that argument is what Vali Nasr wrote in his book, “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat.” Nasr was a big supporter of Obama but became disillusioned when he served in the State Department under Obama. Nasr disillusionment was made clear when he wrote, “the president had a truly disturbing habit of funneling major foreign-policy decisions through a small cabal of relatively inexperienced White House advisors whose turf was strictly politics. Their primary concern was how action in Afghanistan or the Middle East would play on the nightly news, or which talking point it would give the Republicans. The Obama administration’s reputation for competence on foreign policy has less to do with its accomplishments in Afghanistan or the Middle East than with how U.S. actions in that region have been shaped to accommodate partisan political concerns.”

So here we have a career diplomat writing that our foreign policy is not directed towards our national interest but shaped by partisan political concerns dictated by inexperienced White House advisors. No wonder we have lost credibility with our allies and alienated them.


About camden41

Retired public school administrator Retired history professor: Taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945
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