President Obama’s car came to a halt in Israel yesterday, reportedly because it had been filled with the wrong kind of gas.
“This is a metaphor for his Middle East policy—he’s been running on the wrong kind of fuel,” said Heritage expert James Phillips.
The Obama Doctrine—the President’s approach to foreign policy—has been one of talks, sanctions, and seeking international agreements. But his tactics have led to some sorry outcomes. As Heritage’s Luke Coffey put it, “After almost four years of his presidency, not only is America’s standing in the world weaker; the world is also more dangerous than before.”
In sum, the Obama Doctrine is a policy of leading from behind in global affairs, presiding over dangerous defense cuts that leave America weaker in a more dangerous world, and placing “hope” above reality when dealing with countries like Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea—each presenting unique threats to America’s interests.
In his first visit to Israel as President, Obama is attempting to smooth things over with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after some tense years. Obama said yesterday, “The United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend.” But differences remain between Obama and Netanyahu on the best way to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon—a threat to both Israel and the United States.
Netanyahu has reinforced Israel’s resolve to protect itself if threatened, and the U.S. should stand firmly behind him.
Today, Obama will take his case to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and directly to the Israeli people with a speech in Jerusalem.
For today’s meeting, Phillips recommends:
During his visit to Ramallah, President Obama should encourage Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume direct negotiations with Israel and disabuse him of the notion that he can sit back and wait for Washington to deliver Israeli concessions.
Obama should also warn Abbas against forming a government of national unity with Hamas, which is implacably committed to Israel’s destruction. Such a union would explode any chances for peace for the foreseeable future.
Tomorrow, Obama will visit Jordan, which is feeling the effects of the crisis in Syria. Phillips explains that “Jordan’s security is also threatened by Islamist extremists returning from fighting in Syria who have been emboldened by the growing influence there of al-Qaeda and other Islamist militants.”
Today, Heritage is hosting a discussion of the Obama Doctrine to evaluate its impact on America entering the President’s second term. Watch online at 2 p.m. ET.
Obama’s Middle East Trip: Security Goals Should Be the Highest Priority by James Phillips
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