There’s no question that President Obama may go down as one of the worst foreign policy presidents in modern history. That’s not editorialized opinion; it’s just a fact.
HIs mind still trapped in the ivory tower, Obama dismissed the advice of military brass to pursue an international affairs agenda based on appeasement. He surrounded himself with yes-men like failed novelist Ben Rhodes and Neville Chamberlain wannabe John Kerry.
Over the last eight years, the world has become more unstable, more unpredictable, and more dangerous. America is no longer respected by the rest of the world, thanks to President Obama. A feckless and weak foreign policy has emboldened our enemies and undermined our allies. It will take years, if not decades, to clean up the mess this president has left behind.
Here are Obama’s 7 worst foreign policy blunders:
1. Drawing a “red line” against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and refusing to follow through.
In 2012, President Obama officially drew a “red line” against the butcher of Damascus, vowing to use military force against the regime if Assad were to use chemical weapons on his own people. One year later, Assad called his bluff, killing 1,500 people in August 2013 with deadly chemical weapons. Not only did Obama fail to follow through with his vow, but he directed administration to ultimately pull back from calling for regime change. Since 2013, Assad has deployed sarin gas, chlorine gas, and other chemical agents against his own people innumerable times.
The dictator has made a mockery of international law by committing a war crime at least once a week. In 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry finally admitted the obvious: Obama’s failure to enforce his own “red line” has irreversibly damaged America’s reputation. “I know the cost – this has been a topic of conversation here – of the President’s decision when he decided not to enforce the redline through the bombing,” Kerry said at the Saban Forum when asked about the Syrian genocide. In private, high-ranking administration officials including Biden, Clinton, and Kerry have all conveyed their concerns about the damage Obama may have done to America’s reputation with allies and adversaries.
2. The Iran Nuclear Deal.
This one is a no-brainer. President Obama’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran has all but ensured that the mullah-run theocratic state gets its hand on nuclear weapons in the near future. Despite Obama’s dogged assurances, Iran has cheated multiple times since the signing of the deal, expanding its conventional weapons arsenal and playing coy with naïve weapons inspectors. Furthermore, the Islamic Republic continues to be the chief financier of Assad’s genocide against his own people, Hezbollah’s terrorist war against Israel, Hamas’ terrorist enclave in Gaza, and the Houthi’s sectarian battle in Yemen. It gets worse. Adding insult to injury, President Obama has actually been helping Iran speed up the process of enriching uranium to ultimately develop nuclear capabilities.
“Unsatisfied with stoking the fiery cauldrons of Islamic fundamentalism with his weak-kneed response during his eight-year tenure, Barack Obama has now enabled Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, to speed ever-closer toward successful attainment of nuclear weapons, approving a secret delivery of roughly 130 tons of uranium for the fundamentalist Iranian regime,” reported The Daily Wire. “Meanwhile, while the West is bolstering Iran with uranium, the Iranian regime is growing more openly belligerent.” From kidnapping US sailors to harassing navy vessels, Iran has repeatedly displayed that it is no friend to America.
3. Retreating from the Middle East only to open up a power vacuum for ISIS.
As much as anti-war liberal beatniks attempt to blame Bush for the rise of ISIS (as they do everything else), there’s no denying that President Obama is squarely responsible for the terror group’s rise in prominence. No amount of historical rewriting can alter the fact that Iraq was relatively stable when Bush left office. The surge worked. Iraqis were getting back to everyday life. But Obama’s decision to abruptly pull U.S. troops out of Iraq before the 2012 midterm elections in America changed all that. With minimal oversight, the regime in Baghdad became power-hungry and invited the Iranians over to turn Iraq into a Shiite-run state.
Backed by Iranian intelligence operatives, President Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite warlord, began massacring Sunnis after the exodus of U.S. troops. These massacres drew the attention of Al-Qaeda’s fighting arm in Syria, what would come to be known as ISIS. As Sunni fighters poured into Iraq to push back Shiite army forces they began coalescing around a newly-patched black flag, the black flag of ISIS. Eventually, ISIS built its caliphate in Iraq. At the time, Obama referred to the terror group as the “jayvee team,” refusing to intervene and stop their spread across the region. Fast-forward a few years: ISIS is now the most prolific Islamic terrorist group to ever grace the earth.
4. Neglecting Afghanistan only to see the reemergence of the Taliban. The Taliban is back in Afghanistan. This comes just a few years after the Bush administration successfully rid the land of the terror group. Pointing only to his triumph of killing Osama bin-Laden, Obama has little to show for his anti-terror campaign. The president’s retreat strategy in both Iraq and Afghanistan hasn’t worked. Left to its own devices, Afghanistan has sunk back into the depth of despair as malnourished and underpaid Afghani soldiers defect to newly empowered Taliban sects. The Afghani army is losing control. The Taliban now runs roughshod over huge swaths of land in Afghanistan, making life for residents miserable.
5. Abandoning South Sudan only to witness ethnic cleansing.
South Sudan was the Bush administration’s success story. After years of negotiation, President George W. Bush helped to negotiate a peace between Khartoum (Sudan) and Juba, South Sudan’s newly formed capital. Years of bloodshed had finally come to end as South Sudan became the newest country to join the world of nations. When Obama assumed office, he promised he would carry on Bush’s legacy and make sure that nascent state would go on to see successful days ahead. He lied. Comfortably ensconced in the White House, Obama began pulling U.S. assets out of South Sudan.
He refused to monitor the geopolitical situation on the ground, opting instead to pivot his attention to Asia. Even when South Sudanese officials implored the Obama administration to send further assistance to the newly-formed country, the president refused. With the U.S. turning a blind eye, South Sudan began unraveling. Vice President Riek Machar of the Nuer people left the capital in Juba and formed a paramilitary force against President Salva Kiir of the Dinka people in hopes of attempting a coup. Since then, Kiir and Machar’s forces have been at each other’s throats, massacring each other’s respective peoples. Thousands of children have been forced to become child soldiers. Thousands of women have been raped by men in uniform. Thousands of people have perished in an ethnic war that doesn’t appear to ending anytime soon.
6. Sullying America’s relationship with Israel.
President Obama allowed his personal animus against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get in the way of his duties to uphold decades of US foreign policy norms. America has long been Israel’s closest ally, through thick and thin. But under Obama, that all changed. After refusing to meet with Netanyahu at the White House and shunning the prime minister at international conferences, Obama finally showed his true colors when he directed his UN Ambassador to abstain from a starkly anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution that essentially labeled the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Jewish Quarter as illegally-occupied territory.
It was a stab in the back of the one and only Jewish State in the world. In retrospect, Obama’s final parting shot at Israel was a long time coming. For years, he has downplayed Palestinian terrorism to shine a spotlight on the supposed horrors of Israeli housing construction along in the West Bank. Despite the fact that Israel provides useful intelligence, surveillance, modern technology, and tips in the war on Islamic terrorists, Obama has chosen to forsake America’s relationship with Israel, forcing Israel to create military partnerships with India and others. Both America and Israel are weaker for Obama’s anti-Israel rhetoric and actions.
7. Normalizing relations with Castro’s Cuba at the expense of the Cuban people.
Obsessed with his own legacy, President Obama decided to open up relations with the island nation of Cuba after decades of enshrined US foreign policy forbidding such rapprochement. Obama claimed the status quo wasn’t working. The United States needed a fresh start with Cuba. That all sounds nice but unfortunately the dictatorial Castro regime still holds the reins of power in Cuba. This is a regime that has murdered, imprisoned, and brutalized journalists, homosexuals, dissidents and democracy activists.
Free speech doesn’t exist in the Castro family’s hell. Even after Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother Raul, Cuba still remained a dictatorship, bereft of basic freedoms and civil liberties. Rather than demanding that the regime loosen its nose around the people, Obama simply decided to “turn the page.” He failed to make any successful demands of Cuba to improve its human rights record or open its economy. No concessions from Cuba have been made since Obama established an embassy in Havana. Instead, Obama offered concessions to Cuba. In an unforgivable betrayal of Castro’s victims, Obama submitted to Cuba’s demands that the United States scrap its “wet foot, dry foot” policy allowing Cuban dissidents to have legal residency if the reach American shores. Cuba felt as though the policy undermined its sovereignty. Obama agreed, so he threw Cuba’s people under the bus.