Has the country become weaker under President Obama? Voters and analysts unequivocally say this is true.
According to experts, President Obama’s foreign policy has left the U.S. in a weaker position than when he took the oath 8 years ago.
As Obama finishes his two terms, America’s relations with traditional allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia have soured.
Not only are we absent in Syria, but our relationship with Western Europe has been called into question.
On Obama’s watch, our influence has diminished in too many regions in Europe and Asia.
A foreign affairs analyst, Nile Gardiner, recently said:
“I can’t really think of any concrete success that President Obama’s had in terms of foreign policy. You can point to an overall weakening of American power on the world stage and an eroding of key alliances.”
When Obama became President, he was faced with two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was also dealing with a global financial crisis and recession that caused the U.S. unemployment rate to rise during the first year of his presidency.
But Heather Conley, Director of the Europe Program at the Center of Strategic and International Studies said:
“The president came into office eight years ago with the view of being principally a domestic president, with the financial crisis looming, and to be transformative.
The administration felt that his victory and the fact that he was not President Bush would be sufficient in transforming the trans-Atlantic relationship and relations with Europe.”
That didn’t happen, though.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said among Mr. Obama’s biggest achievements in foreign affairs were bringing home all but about 15,000 troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, ordering the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, and re-establishing diplomatic and cultural ties with Cuba in 2014.
“That is an indication of the important progress that President Obama has made. But the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in late 2011, critics argue, created a power vacuum that led to the rise of the Islamic State, the Salafist terrorist group that has launched horrific attacks against the West and has dominated the administration’s counterterrorism operations since 2014.”
But meanwhile, Libya descended into extremist anarchy after the U.S. helped oust Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, with the Islamic State gaining a foothold there.
A former aide to Margaret Thatcher said:
“President Obama’s approach was extraordinarily naive in the Middle East. He also failed to combine his optimism with any hard power.
That really enabled a number of very dangerous actors to emerge and to threaten directly the United States and its allies. It isn’t very clear that the Obama White House has any real strategy for eradicating ISIS. It’s a containment strategy; it’s not one of victory.”
In a too-little-too-late moment in the twilight of Obama’s presidency, he insisted his strategy against the terrorist network was succeeding.
It’s not, but Obama said:
“We are breaking the back of ISIL and taking away its safe havens, and we’ve accomplished this at a cost of $10 billion over two years — the same amount that we spent in one month at the height of the Iraq War.”
If that sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is.
And Obama rested much of his strategy for the broader Middle East on reaching the deal with Iran in 2015 which limited their nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions.
“When President Obama took office, the Number one threat that was identified by the United States and our allies around the world was the risk that Iran would develop a nuclear weapon.
That would be extraordinarily destabilizing to not just the Middle East, but to the world. It would be extraordinarily concerning to our closest ally, Israel.
And it would pose a threat to our allies in Europe that are within range of some of Iran’s missile capabilities.”
But Obama allowed this to happen, didn’t he?