Monday, November 22, 2010

Obama Turns to Foreign Policy

Last week I noted the well-established historical pattern that when a US President's domestic agenda craters, he tuns to foreign policy to make his mark and demonstrate authority. President Obama is no different in this regard, and he is turning to foreign policy, I am sure to carry out his own policy desires, but clearly also to score a much-needed 'win'. He needs a win and the Wash Post of all places reveals how elusive such a win might be. But Obama is desperate. Thus the cynical bribe to get Netanyahu to preserve the "peace talks" for even just three months and the one-sided treaty with Russia that gives them the store and treats them like an equal partner on the world stage. I am sure that the MSM will portray Obama's foreign policy moves as a brilliant program vying with the harsh realities of a tough and often nonsensical world, but the truth is anything but. The world makes alot of sense most of the time and now is no different: nations pursue their interests; strength seeks to take advantage of weakness; chaos exploits a vacuum when order or leadership breaks down or sleeps. However as with the economy, Obama is showing his inability to make the world bend to his will, largely because he has his hands on the wrong levers. Every nation that has had difficulty pursuing its interests that conflict with US aims has seen an opening in the coming of Obama and they are making hay as the sun shines. Russia particularly sees a limited (but glorious) window of time where it can punch above its weight and secure normally unlikely gains by exploiting US flakiness. It is unlikely that Obama can secure a true foreign policy win in this environment. The only "wins" are likely to be giveaways that can be spun as wins for MSM consumption, which are not wins at all for the interests of the US. One can only hope that the desperation only goes so far or that the potemkin foreign policy victories are only so damaging.

UPDATE: The Fed is wrong about many things, so President Obama better hope it is wrong about this.


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