If you change the cast of a soap opera and the script is the same, the next episode is not much different than the last. Likewise, there is an Obama Doctrine, it’s the rulebook that President Obama is running foreign policy by, and the departure of General Jim Jones as National Security Adviser won’t matter much in changing how the White House’s plays are called.
The most noteworthy part of Obama’s remarks to the press regarding the matter concerned the list of his Administration’s “accomplishments.” What is noteworthy is that none of them are actually accomplishments. They are just list of what Obama’s national security team has been doing. Brokering talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis is a lot different than negotiating peace in the Middle East. Following through on the Bush plan to secure an Iraq that governs and protects itself while supervising the withdrawal of U.S. troops is more a task than an initiative. Agreeing not to cut and run in Afghanistan is not the same as showing the determination to stay until the job is done. Agreeing to a deeply flawed nuclear agreement with Moscow does not rank as much of an accomplishment either.
Indeed, it is hard to pick out an area of foreign policy where this White House has made a great initiative that will keep the United States safe, free and prosperous. In particular, news on the two pressing threats is especially troubling. A report out today, in fact, concludes that North Korea’s nuclear program is racing ahead. Meanwhile, the President of Iran recently spoke at the UN where he ridiculed U.S. efforts to negotiate with his country or stop its nuclear program. Rather than be cowed by Obama, Ahmadinejad told the Associated Press that “the future belongs to Iran” and that the United States “must recognize that Iran is a big power.” He proclaimed that capitalism was at the root of much of the world’s economic problems and called for reform of “undemocratic and unjust” international institutions dominated by the United States and the West: “Now that the discriminatory order of capitalism and the hegemonic approaches are facing defeat.” While these countries speed ahead with their ballistic missile and nuclear programs, Obama has cut the number of missile interceptors by 44 percent. Our missile and nuclear defenses have fared poorly under this president.
If Obama wants to change course he will have to do more that change staff. He will have to change course. There are better solutions to providing for the common defense; establishing a sensible foreign policy, improving homeland security, controlling our border, dealing with terrorists, and protecting the United States from nuclear Armageddon. It is high time the President consider them.