Washington Post wrong about Obama’s ‘fantasy’ foreign policy agenda

Published March 2, the editorial contends Obama's foreign policy strategy sacrifices U.S. ability to assert its dominance. Screengrab, WashingtonPost.com.

Published March 2, the editorial contends Obama’s foreign policy strategy sacrifices U.S. ability to assert its dominance. Screengrab, WashingtonPost.com.

By Karam Singh Sethi
March 8, 2014

The Washington Post Editorial Board recently published an op-ed about the President’s foreign policy agenda.  They cite three particular countries that broke international law without any repercussions:

  1. Russia’s occupation of Crimea
  2. China’s claim over international airspace and subsequent military build up
  3. Syria’s use of chemical weapons against civilians

The Post argues the U.S. has an opportunity to “play a leading role in the costs and benefits” of these actions, but that the current administration has jeopardized U.S. relationships, security, and interests through inaction in the following ways:

  1. The U.S. is only pursuing diplomatic solutions in Crimea
  2. The U.S. is not answering the “desperate” calls by China’s neighbors
  3. The U.S. watches idle as Assad encroaches on rebellions and civilians

The Structural Realists at the Post are thoroughly disappointed with the current administration and they scoff at accusations of being warmongers, saying:

The White House often responds by accusing critics of [wanting] American boots on the ground.”

The verbal onslaught carried out by the editors is loaded, archaic (telling of their generational gap) and hawkish.  They are among the waning minority who once yearned for total U.S. hegemony.  Appreciating the US’s impressive military is one thing, but encouraging unnecessary military might is another.  Here is why The Post is wrong:

First, proving to the world the U.S. is still a major player in international affairs is unnecessary — it is fact.  Globalization has made software innovation crucial for trade and one of the U.S.’s greatest assets is its high-tech exports. Beyond its clear innovation dominance, the U.S. is also still the largest economy in the world. There is simply nothing to prove.

Second, the U.S. no longer has definable state enemies. The world is too interconnected to break into blocks. The gray area of national security in which the world currently exists will eventually evolve into more black and white actors, but not yet. Our enemies now are by in large non-state actors, who benefit from State V State mentalities. Secretary of State, John Kerry is correct, Hard Power is a 19th century tactic and needless military flexing illustrates insecurities.

Third, the U.S. is still taking on international leadership roles, but in more prosperous arenas. The philosophy behind the well-conceived Asia Pivot initiative is to re-balance U.S. interests, “pivot” from the Middle East/Eurasia towards East Asia. The goals of this program include bolstering trade lines, mentoring nascent democracies, and sharpening security strategies as this resource-rich area of the world becomes more popular. This is the new frontier of leadership for the U.S., with rapidly growing cost-benefit ratios.

Backwards-thinking leaders will find retribution for their actions, but not necessarily at the hands of the US. The Post believes the current administration should fall in line with the rest of the world.  Putin, Assad, and Xi Jinping are fighting for the big stick, so we should we as well.  Instead of living in the past, Obama is blazing new trails and setting new international norms, far more beneficial than putting on the worn-out world police hat.

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Posted by on March 8, 2014. Filed under Recent News,Top News,World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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