Bret Stephens: The meltdown of U.S. foreign policy

By on August 26, 2014 in From the Internet with 0 Comments

From Commentary Magazine, a must-read essay by the superb Bret Stephens, foreign affairs editor of the Wall St. Journal:

Bret StephensIn July, after Germany trounced Brazil 7–1 in the semifinal match of the World Cup—including a first-half stretch in which the Brazilian soccer squad gave up an astonishing five goals in 19 minutes—a sports commentator wrote: “This was not a team losing. It was a dream dying.” These words could equally describe what has become of Barack Obama’s foreign policy since his second inauguration. The president, according to the infatuated view of his political aides and media flatterers, was supposed to be playing o jogo bonito, the beautiful game—ending wars, pressing resets, pursuing pivots, and restoring America’s good name abroad.

Instead, he crumbled.

As I write, the foreign policy of the United States is in a state of unprecedented disarray. In some cases, failed policy has given way to an absence of policy. So it is in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and, at least until recently, Ukraine. In other cases the president has doubled down on failed policy—extending nuclear negotiations with Iran; announcing the full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Sometimes the administration has been the victim of events, such as Edward Snowden’s espionage, it made worse through bureaucratic fumbling and feckless administrative fixes. At other times the wounds have been self-inflicted: the espionage scandal in Germany (when it was learned that the United States had continued to spy on our ally despite prior revelations of the NSA’s eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel); the repeated declaration that “core al-Qaeda” was “on a path to defeat”; the prisoner swap with the Taliban that obtained Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s release.

Often the damage has been vivid, as in the collapse of the Israel–Palestinian talks in April followed by the war in Gaza. More frequently it can be heard in the whispered remarks of our allies. “The Polish-American alliance is worthless, even harmful, as it gives Poland a false sense of security,” Radek Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister and once one of its most reliably pro-American politicians, was overheard saying in June. “It’s bullshit.”

Read it all And pray for a day when the U.S. once again employs a foreign policy that causes our friends to trust us, and our enemies to fear us.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jon Sutz is the Editor of SaveTheWest.com. Jon is a liberty-oriented multimedia graphic designer, writer and creative consultant, based in Charlottesville, VA (jonsutz.com). Most recently, Jon authored his first book, about the dog that helped to save his life after 9/11, "Saved By Shayna: Life Lessons From A Miracle Dog," and is creating an activism campaign to help prevent dogs from suffering in hot cars: HeatKills.org. .

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