The Obama administration engages in one foreign policy blunder after another. While Obama was dealt a bad hand by the previous administration, he had a vast mandate to change things and advance a global American agenda away from belligerence towards international accountability and a strengthening of institutions.
It’s hard not to like Obama, he’s intelligent, dedicated, friendly and engaging. He has a strong moral compass and a strong idealism. It sets him far apart from the gritty reality of everyday. If millions of Iranians take to the streets partially encouraged by the words of high hope he expressed in june 2009, you’d expect his same passion to respond when the regime cracks down on them. They after all, carried forward his aspirations. Everywhere we listen, Obama’s words express a profound hope, impetus and vision. But everywhere we look, we only see his hesitant, ill conceived realism backed by no obvious strategy.
The pivot of any strategy should have been to continually tie China to its global interests and push China away from the adolescent alliance with Russia and others. China is more vulnerable to international disorder than the US and that insight ought to have been cultivated perhaps even by example. With China following its own interests in foreign policy instead of thinking it still needs alliance with Russia, the situation in Syria would have become much less fluid and far more difficult for Assad c.s. to manipulate.