Friday, October 16, 2009

President Obama’s Competence on National Security Critically Questioned

As I mentioned in the last post, President Barack Obama faces vehement criticism for his lenient foreign policy to potential adversaries and cold blooded attitudes to allies desperately aching for US support. The Nobel Peace Prize awarded by the committee in Oslo has intensified bitter criticism to Obama’s foreign policy.

Global Geopolitics News and Analysis, a blog sponsored by the Eurasia Research Center and Global Geopolitics Net, has published a post on conservative and neoconservative attack to President Obama’s foreign policy. William Kristol founded Keep America Safe with Elizabeth Cheney, a daughter of Former Vice President Dick Cheney, to advocate “the world is a safer place when America is trusted by our allies and feared and respected by our enemies.” According to Kristol, as liberals has found dozens of organizations and spend millions to undercut the War on Terror, it is vital to help leaders who envision a strong America for world peace. Also, Kristol has been sending open letters with Robert Kagan through recently founded the Foreign Policy Initiative, in order to urge Obama to take more assertive foreign policy with regard to Russia, Afghanistan, and Central Europe. Furthermore, Charles Krauthammer criticizes the Obama administration’s foreign policy an exercise in contraction (”U.S.: Foreign Policy Hawks Launch New Campaign against Obama”; Global Geopolitics News and Analysis; October 13, 2009).

The rise of hawk backlash is not the only problem. Regarding the Afghan War, President Obama has not reached common understandings on the McChrystal Assessment within his own party, while Republicans are united to demand a further surge. Among Democrats, Senator Dianne Feinstein urges the President to accept the McChrystal Report, while Senator Carl Levin says a troop surge is unnecessary and simply increase the risk of further US casualties (“44 The Obama Presidency: Sunday Talkies: Democrats Unsure, GOP United on Troop Levels”; Washington Post; October 11, 2009).

While US Democrats are divided, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has decided to send another 500 troops recently. Even this decision is criticized by Former Defence Secretary John Hutton that it should have been earlier. Hutton quit Defence Secretary in June this year when Brown turned down the demand for a surge of British troops in Helmand and Kandahar provinces (“Gordon Brown 'should have sent more Afghan troops six months ago'”; Daily Telegraph; 14 October 2009). President Obama will be in awkward position if he hesitates to accept recommendations by General McChrytstal, while America’s closest ally has made a decision to boost troop level.

The Democrat divide on Afghan strategy will undermine the leadership of the President, not only in Washington but also on the global stage.

Since the presidential election, I have been questioning Barack Obama’s competence in foreign policy and as the Commander in Chief. The President has not succeeded in reaching consensus on Afghanistan within his own party. His attitude to Poland and Czech is disrespectful to the weak. The media has been praising him a Black Kennedy since the election. Now, it seems that he is a Black Carter, instead. It is quite ironical that President Barack Obama won the Peace Prize when he faces one of the most critical tests to manage the globe. Sweet and empty speeches are no proof to show that the President is ready to lead the world.