web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



The Neo-Isolationist President

In his speech at West Point last week, President Obama removed all doubt that his foreign policy is destined to diminish America’s pivotal, stabilizing role around the world. He said that while the U.S. would continue to honor its treaty obligations, when it comes to conflagrations outside this umbrella the country would henceforth work only through coalitions and international organizations like the United Nations.

According to the Obama blueprint, the U.S. would not hesitate to use military force when “core interests demand it” – that is, “when our people are threatened; when our livelihood is at stake; or when the security of our allies is in danger.”

But, he went on, when “crises arise that stir up our conscience or push the world in a more dangerous direction…we should not go it alone.” He dismissed the “Bush doctrine,” saying “a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naïve and unsustainable.” He railed against those who “say every problem has a military solution,” who “think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak.”

Thus, events like the Russian seizure of Crimea or China’s threats to its neighbors would attract U.S. action only if other nations were also willing to stick their necks out – a doubtful proposition at best. And of course Russia and China have veto power in the UN Security Council, which would have to authorize any UN action.

Since the end of World War II it has become increasingly clear that if the United States is to be a force for international order and peaceful coexistence, it cannot rely on massive military power to impose its will. Though the U.S. emerged from World War II in a preeminent military position – with the Soviet Union, England and France digging themselves out of wartime devastation – it soon became apparent that the real task would be addressing the challenges posed by local communist and nationalistic insurgencies that did not fit the great war model.

Just five years after America’s victory over Germany and Japan, China and North Korea were able to fight the U.S. to a standstill in the Korean War. To be sure, the U.S, was unable, because of political restraints, to use its military capacity to the fullest in Korea. Yet that was but part of the new reality. It became more apparent in the course of the Vietnam War. Try as it might, with unprecedented bombing and destruction, the U.S. could not defeat the Vietnamese nationalists, who were part of the indigenous local population.

The Gulf War of 1991 was different, involving set battles in which U.S. forces rolled over Saddam Hussein’s minions and ousted them from Kuwait. But the postwar trend resumed twelve years later in the second Gulf War, which resulted in the ouster of Saddam Hussein but saw the emergence of an insurgent movement Saddam had long suppressed.

The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11 was a similar story, with early success giving way to a long and costly war against insurgents.

Certainly the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan once more made it evident that in order to continue its role in maintaining world order, the U.S. would have to transition from a set-battle mindset and figure out how to deal with more diffuse and elusive enemies. Indeed, the president spoke of the need “to develop a strategy that matches this diffuse threat, one that expands our reach without sending forces that stretch our military too thin or stir up local resentments.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama’s proposed solution – relying on ephemeral coalitions and a UN in thrall to the Third World as well as subject to Russian and Chinese veto power – is woefully short of the mark. Nor does the plan he announced to create a $5 billion fund to support anti-terror efforts around the world change anything.

About the Author:


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 “The Neo-Isolationist President”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Captain Or Cohen
IDF Selects First Female Commander of Navy Ship
Latest Indepth Stories
Rabbi Maurice Lamm

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.

Cries of justice for Michael Brown drowned out any call for justice for Police Officer Daryl Wilson.

Cloistered captain Obama, touts his talents and has the temerity to taunt Bibi,his besieged ally

Former PM Ariel Sharon succinctly said, “the fate of Netzarim (Gush Katif) is the fate of Tel-Aviv.”

“What’s a line between friends?”

Unrest in YESHA and J’m helps Abbas and Abdullah defuse anger, gain politically and appear moderates

A “Shliach” means to do acts with complete devotion and dedication in order to help bring Moshiach.

The pogroms in Chevron took place eighty five years ago, in 1929; the Holocaust began seventy-five years ago in 1939; the joint attack of Israel’s neighbors against the Jewish State of Israel happened sixty-six years ago… yet, world history of anti-Semitism did not stop there, but continues until today. Yes, the primitive reality of Jews […]

“We don’t just care for the children; we make sure they have the best quality of life.”

“Why do people get complacent with the things they’re told?”

More Articles from Editorial Board

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.

If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.

Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.

There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-neo-isolationist-president/2014/06/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: