Friday, October 19, 2012

Former Obama Adviser 'Our Foreign Policy Is A Mess'


Normally, with an election less than three weeks off you would expect people who've worked with this president to be effusive in praising him, especially in his so-called strong point of foreign policy.

Apparently, not all of them do.

Ed Morrisey over at Hot Air writes about one example, former Obama administration Defense undersecretary and State Department adviser Rosa Brooks, who wrote a particularly scathing piece over at Foreign Policy:

Despite some successes large and small, Obama’s foreign policy has disappointed many who initially supported him. The Middle East initiatives heralded in his 2009 Cairo speech fizzled or never got started at all, and the Middle East today is more volatile than ever. The administration’s response to the escalating violence in Syria has consisted mostly of anxious thumb-twiddling. The Israelis and the Palestinians are both furious at us. In Afghanistan, Obama lost faith in his own strategy: he never fought to fully resource it, and now we’re searching for a way to leave without condemning the Afghans to endless civil war. In Pakistan, years of throwing money in the military’s direction have bought little cooperation and less love.
The Russians want to reset the reset, neither the Chinese nor anyone else can figure out what, if anything, the “pivot to Asia” really means, and Latin America and Africa continue to be mostly ignored, along with global issues such as climate change. Meanwhile, the administration’s expanding drone campaign suggests a counterterrorism strategy that has completely lost its bearings – we no longer seem very clear on who we need to kill or why.
Could Obama have done better?
In foreign policy as in life, stuff happens — including bad stuff no one could have predicted. Nonetheless, to a significant extent, President Obama is the author of his own lackluster foreign policy. He was a visionary candidate, but as president, he has presided over an exceptionally dysfunctional and un-visionary national security architecture — one that appears to drift from crisis to crisis, with little ability to look beyond the next few weeks. His national security staff is squabbling and demoralized, and though senior White House officials are good at making policy announcements, mechanisms to actually implement policies are sadly inadequate.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If Obama wants to fix his broken foreign policy machine, he can do it — but conversations with numerous insiders, as well as my own government experiences, suggest that he needs to focus on strategy, structure, process, management, and personnel as much as on new policy initiatives.
Not sexy, I know. But just as a start-up company needs more than an entrepreneurial founder with a couple of good ideas and a nifty PowerPoint presentation, the United States needs more than speeches and high-minded aspirations.

She offers some specific suggestions, but none of them are likely to succeed because of the amateur and dysfunctional nature of the Administration itself. Barack Obama is running America like he was mayor of Chicago, and it's not what you know but whom you know, who brought you to the dance, and what you did in the last political campaign.

Add to that a president who's largely disconnected and an essentially leftist tilt, and you have a recipe for exactly what we have now - a disaster.

1 comment:

louielouie said...

well now.
those last two paragraphs contain some pretty strong sentiments.
some of the strongest yet from ff.
at this point, let me channel anon.
what would he/she say about this situation/issue.
who cares?
i mean really, now that we have our very own african dictator, who really cares.
these issues are just bumps in the road.
if this girl isn't careful, her next posting may be in damascus.