President Barack Obama's foreign policy has proven to be a "failure" across the board, thanks to his lack of a "strategic vision," says Republican strategist Karl Rove.
"To the degree that a vision exists, it has seemed aimed at diminishing America's presence in the world," he writes in The Wall Street Journal
. "Even then, Mr. Obama's leadership has been marked by weakness, inconsistency, ad hoc decision-making, unnecessary tensions with foreign leaders and incompetence."
Rove offers a withering critique of Obama's policy country by country:
• "Start with Iraq, where Mr. Obama has largely surrendered America's hard-won gains," Rove says. Iraq wanted the U.S. military to stay for protection after the war, but Obama made that impossible, Rove says. "The result is a region growing ever more unstable and dangerous."
• In Afghanistan, "even after endorsing a surge of troops in 2009, Mr. Obama signaled in 2011 that he was eager to head for the exits by withdrawing U.S. troops in 2014," Rove writes. But quitting early won't end conflict there, he says. "It could allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist haven again."
• In Iran, Obama "squandered the best chance for regime change and a possible historical turning point in that dangerous and vital land by failing to support democratic reformers when the ayatollahs stole the June 2009 presidential election," Rove writes.
• Egypt, the most important Arab nation strategically, represents another disaster, Rove says. Obama refrained from pushing former President Hosni Mubarak toward reform. "Mr. Obama then badly mismanaged the relationship with Mr. Mubarak's successor, Mohammed Morsi," Rove says. And now, "Egypt is engulfed in chaos."
• In Syria, "brutal civil war is destabilizing neighboring Jordan, a U.S. ally, and increasing Russia's influence in the region, "Rove says. Obama's "feckless" policy has helped dictator Bashar al-Assad stay in power, he writes.
• As for Russia, "Mr. Obama's promised 'reset' has never materialized," Rove says.
• And in China our relationship "remains problematic."
One overarching problem is that "Mr. Obama is deeply mistrustful of American strength," Rove says. "He seems to take special delight in apologizing for America's pre-Obama past and has the worrisome habit of being hard on allies, such as Israel, and soft toward adversaries like Russia."
Others see Obama pursuing a flawed foreign policy as well.
There's a "disturbing possibility that the administration believes it faces neither a communications nor a strategy nor an execution problem -- that the administration merely believes that things are tough and everyone else just cannot understand this basic fact," Peter Feaver writes on ForeignPolicy.com
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