web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Why Current US Foreign Policy Debate Doesn’t Make Sense and How to Fix It

The issue is simply this one: When you say something or do something or spend something whose side are you on?
Senate+Foreign+Relations+Cmte

And it isn’t even about whether to increase or diminish American power or to act unilaterally or multilaterally.

The issue is what the United States does with the influence and leverage that it does possess.

For example, the United States gives billions to Pakistan. This is a bad big-spending idea. The United States doesn’t even need to keep troops in Europe anymore. (Now there’s a good money-saving idea!)

To critique Obama foreign policy is not to say that more intervention or starting wars is good. It is to raise the question: Who do you help and support when you intervene on any level, even in the words of a speech?

Helping allies indirectly–even verbally–is a way of avoiding direct intervention. There isn’t a single case I can think of that calls for sending U.S. troops or spending massive amounts of money. On the contrary, it is when American leaders ignore current threats will the country end up fighting more wars and spending more money later.

The real questions revolve around things like these:

–If you have some money appropriated in Egypt to spend on training people politically who do you give it to, Muslim Brotherhood or moderates?

–If you are going to put together a Syrian opposition leadership and direct weapons–paid for and sent by others–to Syria who do you favor being the leaders and getting the guns?

–Do you call for the overthrow of the Bahraini government knowing that even though the Shia majority has genuine grievances this might result in an Iranian satellite regime?

–When Americans are attacked by terrorists in Benghazi do you rush to their defense or find ways to blame America for the assault?

–Do you send armored personnel carriers to a Lebanese army under Hizballah-Syrian control?

–Do you make a speech saying that Iranian dissidents are heroes or do you rush to send a congratulatory letter to Ahmadinejad after a stolen election?

–Is it smart to dispatch billions of dollars to a Pakistani government that gives safe haven to al-Qaida terrorists, supports the Taliban against American forces in Afghanistan, and sponsors terrorism to murder Indian civilians?

–Do you see Colombia or Venezuela as the good guy? In other words, do you hold up Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez as a role model or denounce him as a corrupt dictator?

–Is it better to make a Turkish Islamist prime minister your hero or hope that the opposition gets it together to stop their country’s fundamental transformation?

–Do you keep your promise to the Czechs and Poles to put defensive missiles in their countries—after they agree to do so at considerable risk–or try (and fail) to make Russian dictator Vladimir Putin happy?

–Do you cheer on the brave people of Georgia (country) defend themselves when they are attacked by Russia or do you blame them as being allegedly provocative because they shot back when they are fired on?

–Are you rooting for Israel or apologizing and saving Hamas?

–Even if you try to maintain normal relations with an Egyptian government dominated by the Brotherhood are you saying among yourselves: This is bad. We cannot trust these people at all and we must limit the damage. Or do you say: We must be nice to them and make them like us and they will be more moderate.

–Do you accurately inform the American people or do you feed them misleading ideas about what’s going on in the world?

Obama could reduce the level of U.S. spending abroad, cut back on intervention (he intervened in Libya and is intervening in Syria, for example, and sent troops to sub-Saharan Africa for reasons no one can explain), and bring home American troops. That is not the problem. We are no longer engaged in the debates of a half-century ago in this regard.

Similarly, no one is calling for America to be the world’s policeman. Not only are the resources and will lacking but there is no need to play such a role. And, besides, who wants a policeman who says the Mafia isn’t a threat?

We are not talking about isolationism versus engagement, multilateralism versus unilateralism, or military responses versus diplomatic efforts.

The issue is simply this one: When you say something or do something or spend something whose side are you on?

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why Current US Foreign Policy Debate Doesn’t Make Sense and How to Fix It”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. (Nov. 22, 2014.)
Fears Over US Iran Deal Trigger Mideast Nuclear Race, Saudi-South Korea Deal
Latest Indepth Stories
Ron Prosor

Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

Ballots for elections "made in Samaria."

Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah

A young Moshe Meir Weiss introduces his mother, Mrs. Agnes Weiss Goldman, to Rav Moshe in 1979.

There were no airs about him. Rav Moshe was affectionately known as the Gaon of Normalcy.

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.

Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address

Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.

I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/why-current-us-foreign-policy-debate-doesnt-make-sense-and-how-to-fix-it/2013/01/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: