“The best laid schemes of mice and men go often awry, and leave us nothing but grief and pain for promised joy!” ~ Robert Burns, 1785. Those words aptly describe the misplaced confidence the Obama administration placed in its touted “reset with Russia,” “strategic patience” and “leading from behind” strategies on a number of fronts, especially in the Middle East — and lay challenges for new “resets” to replace them.
There has been a major “reset” in U.S. foreign policy since then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton introduced that term in her March 2009 meeting in Geneva with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov — but not the kind of “reset” that she implied. No doubt, she sought to assure the Russians that we both would fare well in the then unfolding “smart diplomacy” claimed by the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barak Obama. Click here for my first discussion related to this “reset.” Hasn’t turned out that way.
When American troops were removed from Iraq in 2011, it was over the objections of Pentagon and Intelligence Community leaders. (Click here for a discussion of that opposition from senior officials and here for a brief commentary on the Memoirs of two former Defense Secretaries and CIA Directors.)
That strategic error set he stage for the advent of that then-alleged “JV Team” ISIS that has grown into a “varsity” team now in about 30 nations around the world — including among our allies and with at least sympathizers if not cells in the United States. Whatever the claims about working with Russia to fight ISIS, that aspiration has not worked out well. Click here for my related commentary earlier this year.
In August 2012 — still on Secretary of State Clinton’s watch that ended in 2013 — the Obama administration drew a “red line” in the sand regarding Syrian chemical weapons and then walked away from that warning leaving Russia to fill a “power vacuum.” (Click here for a discussion of “The Red Line That Wasn’t.”) In effect, the Obama administration turned over the leadership role in the Middle East to Russia.
Not surprisingly, Russia’s long time alliances with Syria and Iran have dominated the subsequent predictable outcomes that have not favored U.S and Israeli interests.
Secretary Clinton in 2011 prompted considerable controversy by referring to Syria’s new President, Bashar al-Assad, as a reformer. (Click here.) Some reformer — his regime has killed 500,000, made half of the survivors refugees, and endangered our key Mideast allies.
Now, the United States is accusing Russia of War Crimes in Syria. Click here for background on an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting called to demand that Russia rein in its ally, Syria, and halt the blistering attacks on Syria’s second city, bombing humanitarian convoys, hospitals and first responders trying desperately to keep people alive.
Regarding Iran, the Obama administration’s terrible 2015 Nuclear Deal paved an assured path to nuclear weapons. It was rammed through Congress without support of a single Republican. That Deal freed Iran’s access to about $150 billion previously in sanctions and provided no real protection against Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons covertly. Click here for my discussion a year after this terrible deal came to be in spite of public opposition by a 2-to-1 margin. To add insult to injury, the Obama administration recently gave Iran about $1.7 billion more in exchange for hostages.
Meanwhile, Iran’s program to develop and test ballistic missile delivery systems has continued unabated — not to mention its existing ability to deliver a nuclear weapon on a satellite to be detonated over the United States to pose an existential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could lead to the death of most Americans within a year.
The world — and particularly the Middle East — is obviously a much more dangerous place than eight years ago, thanks in no small part to President Obama’s “smart diplomacy” and strategy of “leading from behind.”
Click here for Russia’s perspective a couple of days ago. Lavrov was not smiling as he reportedly listed grievances he claimed contributed to an atmosphere of mistrust that was in some ways more dangerous and unpredictable than the Cold War. While not agreeing with Lavrov’s list of complaints, I do agree with his bottom line that today is more dangerous and unpredictable than during the Cold War.
Russia and its incursions into Georgia and Ukraine — and threats to our NATO Allies exacerbate those conditions. Most recently, Russia is again deploying nuclear-capable Iskander missiles into its Kaliningrad outpost that borders two NATO members, Lithuania and Estonia. (Click here.) Lithuania warned Saturday that the move, possibly a violation of the 1987 Intermediate Range Forces (INF) Treaty, was aimed at pressuring the West into making concessions over Syria and Ukraine.
The weakness exhibited by American’s leadership has greatly contributed to this dangerous condition. And I haven’t even mentioned China’s growing strategic and tactical strength and increasingly adversarial role in international affairs, also not dealt with by the Obama administration. And China holds much of the U.S. national debt, now approaching $20-trillion.
As has become almost a trite observation, “Our friends no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us.”
U.S. naivety, misguided policies, and incompetent misdirection need to end as quickly as possible. It is long past time for another “reset” — this time, for the United States to return to President Ronald Reagan’s “Peace through Strength” policy, a new commitment to rebuild our military capabilities that have atrophied and suffered from a lack of political and funding support, and to employ competent management of our domestic and foreign affairs.
Not the least of such a reset is a revitalized Strategic Defense Initiative, with a priority on developing cost-effective space based defenses as quickly as possible. And, of course, we need a top priority initiative to end the existential threat posed by natural and manmade EMP.
What can you do?
Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.
Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.
Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage www.highfrontier.org for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.
Encourage them to review our past email messages, posted on www.highfrontier.org, to learn about many details related to the existential manmade and natural EMP threats and how we can protect America against them.
Click here to make a tax deductible gift. If you prefer to mail a check, Please send it to 500 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
E-Mail Message 161011
Be sure to follow us on our Social Sites!