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Sunday, March 15, 2009

We All Know What President Obama's Foreign Policy Isn't...

I will say something that everyone likely already figured out. Just about everything on foreign policy will be done differently by President Obama than it was by President Bush. It took President Obama one day to sign an executive order committing himself to close Gitmo within one year. He announced that combat would end in Iraq by August of 2010. He said that we would have a renewed focus on Afghanistan. He announced a roll back on our diplomatic stances toward Iran, Syria, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea. He announced that all enhanced interrogations would end. The most recent decision was that the term "enemy combatant" would end.

Someone needs to tell the president that we are still in a war because he isn't paying much attention to it. Right at the beginning of his administration he set out George Mitchell for a listening tour of the Middle East. He sat down with Al Arabiya for an interview in which he promised to reach out to Iran with an unclenched hand. He added an additional 17,000 troops to fight in Afghanistan.

What we haven't heard yet is even a hint of a specific program on anything. While he's promised to close down Gitmo, the president has given no hint about what he will do instead. Even his latest pronouncement that "enemy combatant" would no longer be used gave no hint about what the prisoner's status would be. Besides sending more troops to Afghanistan, the president has said nothing about a change in strategy.

While it's clear what the Obama foreign policy won't be, it is very unclear what it will be. After only two months, this wouldn't be such a big deal, if President Obama hadn't roundly rejected just about every single anti terror measure put into place by the Bush administration. One would think that with so much to criticize, the administration would have some alternatives that they would put in place. Instead, all we have had is a systematic dismantling of the Bush anti terror program with absolutely no alternatives to offer instead.

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