Now that that the massive healthcare bill has been signed into law, President Obama can no longer make excuses for neglecting foreign affairs. Just last week, he postponed an upcoming trip to Indonesia and Australia for one final push to pass Obamacare—a trip he had already pushed off a year ago for the same reason. Australians are among many foreign publics complaining that Obama is taking their support of the U.S. “for granted” and wonder if they are still on Obama’s foreign policy radar.
For the recent Iranian new year, President Obama attempted to renew engagement with Iran on the nuclear issue by stating in another video message to the Iranian people that “our offer of comprehensive diplomatic contacts and dialogue [still] stands.” But in response, Iranian President Ahmadinejad rebuked his overture, promising to “continue our work faster and with more decisiveness,” undoubtedly pointing toward its nuclear ambitions. Obama’s public diplomacy effort once again failed to persuade Iran from halting its nuclear ambitions, yet he appears to have no other tactic prepared.
It reaffirmed what Kim Holmes, Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, pointed out just a few days earlier: “President Obama’s attempt to make nice with the mullahs has borne no fruit.”
On issue after issue, Obama’s lack of global leadership—even with our nation’s best allies—is becoming all too obvious. Giles Whittell of Times London, for example, describes U.S.–Israeli relations as hitting a “new low.”
Now that Obama’s healthcare push is over, he would do well to pivot his attention to critical national security issues and the serious matter of protecting America and her friends and allies from those who wish it harm.
Co-authored by Chris Archambault.
Thomas and Chris are currently members of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/About/Internships-Young-Leaders/The-Heritage-Foundation-Internship-Program