The first-term foreign policy of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was little less than disastrous, viewed entirely from the perspective of the United States.
The U.S. government encouraged revolutions in Libya and Egypt that resulted in the overthrow of leaders then supportive of U.S. interests. In their place, weak Islamic governments have emerged, largely hostile to the United States and supportive of Sharia law.
In Iraq, an indecently speedy withdrawal of U.S. forces has left a weak and pro-Islamist government in place, locked in a disgusting embrace with Iran – a terrorist state. An equally indecent withdrawal from Afghanistan will leave the Taliban well-positioned to regain control over a large swathe of the country, signaling yet another failure of U.S. foreign policy.
Iran has been left unchained to develop nuclear weapons that shortly will create an existential threat to Israel, should the latter nation not degrade those facilities. Syria has been allowed to descend into a vicious civil war with untold consequences for instability throughout the Middle East.
The Obama-doctrine, first term, has been to intervene when there was no U.S. interest in such intervention and to fail to intervene when there was a direct U.S. interest. This has been the politics of disaster.
This is my advice to President Obama for his second term in office: Reverse the first term Obama doctrine. Intervene only when intervention serves direct U.S. interests. And then intervene efficiently, maximizing the policy bang for every buck expended.
A wise Obama doctrine would avoid nation-building as though it were the Black Death. It is extremely costly, largely a waste of time on an unappreciative indigenous population, and totally unsuited to the armed forces. Socialism never works. And using the U.S armed forces as instruments of economic development is equivalent to deploying Marxist-Leninism to develop the USSR, Cuba, and North Korea.
A wise Obama doctrine would intervene to bring down governments hostile to U.S. interests by short sharp interventions, where these can effect results. Use air power to destabilize a hostile government, then withdraw and allow the indigenous populations to rebuild. If they rebuild in a manner hostile to U.S. interests, destabilize again. They will learn their lesson.
A wise Obama doctrine would prop up governments allied to the U.S. by destabilizing any rebel groups. Again, short sharp interventions are the key to successful policy. Human rights abuses should not be condoned. But they do not constitute just cause for U.S. intervention, when such intervention is unambiguously inimical to U.S. economic interests.
Such a doctrine would surely be viewed as selfish. But selfishness is not necessarily a sin. Surely it is less sinful than the international chaos that has resulted from the application of Obama’s first term doctrine.