Obama’s ‘reset’ foreign policy plan gets F for FAIL

March 15, 2010 06:00

“I’ll be honest with you. This is just really hard.” -Obama

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON writes at IBD Editorials

Almost every element of Barack Obama’s once-heralded new “reset” foreign policy of a year ago has either been reset or likely soon will be. Consider Obama’s approach to the eight-year-old war on terror.

Plans made more than a year ago to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010 have stalled. Despite loud proclamations about trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, in a civilian court in New York, such an absurd pledge will probably never be kept.

Talk of trying our own former CIA interrogators for being too tough on terrorist suspects has also come to nothing. And why not put an end to second-guessing anti-terrorism protocols since the Obama administration has quadrupled the number of assassinations by Predator drones of suspected Taliban and al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan?

After all, the targeted killing of hundreds of suspects is far more questionable than waterboarding three confessed killers.

The Obama administration seems to have embraced the once widely criticized Bush-Petraeus strategy in Iraq of gradual withdrawal in concert with Iraqi benchmarks. Indeed, Vice President Joe Biden in Orwellian fashion claims that our victory in Iraq may be one of the administration’s “greatest achievements.”

Was it not a defeatist Biden who not long ago advocated the trisection of Iraq into separate nations?

And after months of waiting, Obama finally sent more troops to Afghanistan, adopting a surge strategy that looks a lot like Bush’s 2007 escalation in Iraq — this after he once assured the country that Bush’s surge, in a tactical sense, “wasn’t working.”

Almost all of the once-derided Bush anti-terrorism protocols are still in place — wiretaps, intercepts, tribunals and renditions. And given there were more foiled radical Islamic terrorist plots in 2009 than in any year since 2001, the president will probably stop his outreach speeches to the Islamic world and his serial recitations of American sins.

Our efforts to reach out and negotiate directly with Iran failed. Secretary of State Clinton effectively acknowledged the impasse, citing the unexpected de facto military coup by the Revolutionary Guard. In any case, does anyone think more Obama speeches, videos, diplomacy and deadlines will halt an Iranian nuclear bomb?

President Obama was once a fierce critic of the former administration’s Mideast policies. A year ago, he thought new outreach to the Palestinians and rebuke to the Israelis might lead to a breakthrough. It did not. In a Time magazine interview, Obama confesses of the 70-year struggle: “I’ll be honest with you. This is just really hard.”


Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: