Obama’s Failing Foreign Policy

April 15, 2010 - 4:24 PM
To much media fanfare touting its "historic" significance, President Obama is hosting an international summit on nuclear containment – minus Iran and North Korea, the two most problematic emerging nuclear states.
To much media fanfare touting its “historic” significance, President Obama is hosting an international summit on nuclear containment – minus Iran and North Korea, the two most problematic emerging nuclear states. 
 
To many observers concerned about the substance of what is happening, it is a bit surreal to see President Obama speak in such soaring terms to the adoring press and diplomatic corps about a foreign policy priority for which he has demonstrated so little real-world resolve.
  
And while the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) the president just signed with Russia is also being celebrated as “historic” by the president’s fan base, it faces justifiable and even skeptical scrutiny from Republican senators who are nervous about its real-world consequences. 
 
What about the other two legs of American nuclear policy – strategic defense, and modernization of the remaining weapons in our strategic arsenal? To placate Russia, President Obama abandoned nuclear defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. 
 
And while the administration’s policy of no new nuclear weapons may be music to liberal ears, it could be interpreted more realistically as a policy that will permit America’s aging strategic weapons to lapse into an unreliable and unready state.
  
And what of President Obama’s signature change in America’s nuclear posture, in which he told the world that if the US was attacked, he would forgo nuclear retaliation against the attackers so long as they were in compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)? 
 
Perhaps he naively believed this unilateral American concession would persuade countries such as Iran and North Korea to abandon their aggressive nuclear ambitions and begin complying with the NPT.
  
Instead, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded with a mocking retort:  “Mr. Obama, you are a newcomer (to politics). Wait until your sweat dries and get some experience.” President Obama’s diplomatic wooing of Ahmadinejad, praised by liberals as a new direction in American foreign policy, does not seem to be going well.
  
Is President Obama so hungry for liberal adulation and adoration on the world stage that he is willing to sacrifice American interests for the mere appearance of a diplomatic win?  And if so, does this not invite aggressiveness and disrespect from foreign leaders?
 
Before French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the US, he publicly threw out charges of “American protectionism” after French aircraft manufacturer Airbus voluntarily pulled out of a competition to build American airborne refueling tankers. 
 
When you pause to consider that the World Trade Organization had just found France guilty of giving billions in illegal trade subsidies to Airbus, you may begin to appreciate the arrogance that Sarkozy was displaying toward Obama.
 
Instead of diplomatically reminding President Sarkozy of the facts, President Obama received him deferentially, and acceded to the French demand for a two-month delay in submitting its bid for the $40-billion Air Force contract.
 
Had President Sarkozy not so vociferously accused the United States of wrongdoing, would he have been as effective in moving Obama to undermine the interests of American manufacturers?
 
The world is watching. And nations pressing their interests with the United States may be learning a lesson we will live to regret.