Opinion Column: A Closer Look at President Obama’s Conviction on Foreign Policy

President Obama

It seems that President Barak Obama’s favoured method to deal with Foreign policy issues is through disparagement. Last month former CIA director and retired American military officer David Petraeus offered his view to the Senate Armed Services Committee on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. He had opined that serious actions have to be taken against Bashar Assad if he continues to bomb local civilians.

Petraeus recommended that an enclave should be established in Syria by the coalition air power where internally displaced persons would take shelter, moderate Sunni forces would be trained, and opposition forces would be organized.

However, President Barak Obama rejected this idea describing such views as “half-baked ideas,” “mumbo-jumbo,” and “downplays the challenges involved in the situation.” The President said that such a notion is not practical and financially sustainable.

Petraeus might as well have testified to his shower drain given the reaction his views received from the administration.

This clearly shows President Obama’s take on foreign policy. He wants you to believe that he sees further, thinks deeper, and knows more about international issues that directly or indirectly concern American’s interest.

The President’s personal conviction about America’s foreign policy is that we need less of everything – less involvement, less commitment, less responsibility, and less expense. British Premier Winston Churchill once said that the America cannot lead the civilized world without “being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes.”

Mr. Obama sees things somewhat differently.The President

Stability in Syria, for instance, is of vital importance tothe US. It is required not only to protect American interests in the Middle East but also for its close ally, Israel. In fact the US is already reeling for its laid back stance towards Syria that has allowed ISIL and other fundamentalist forces to gain ground in the ‘fertile crescent’.

The reality is that the President prefers not to get his hands dirty in 21st century geopolitics. Whatever the stance taken for not getting involved in Syria, the US is more than capable of creating safe havens or no fly zones as had been proved in 1991with Operation Provide Comfort that stopped late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from massacring Kurds who were fleeing their homes in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War.

Implementing that ‘successful’ formula in Syria is not taken seriously by the Obama administration.. But then again what is the alternative action that can be taken by the US to solve the Syrian issue?

Secretary of State John Kerry recommended another grand conference be held in Geneva where the warring parties can settle their differences in a civilized manner. However, will ISIL be invited to the ‘grand conference’ that had said that its wants total control of not only Syria but also Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan?

Donald Trump has said that if the Russians “want to hit ISIS, that’s OK with me”. However, the Russians seem intent on hitting U.S.-backed rebels instead of the ISIS. The President’s stance is that staying out of Syria is the best way handle the foreign issue. But the lessons learned from the Syrian war are that turmoil does not wipe out the forces of jihad. It adds fuel to their passion of world dominance.

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