Barack Obama has been busy defending his dismal foreign policy record on his trip to Asia this week. At a press conference in the Philippines yesterday, the president (quoted here by The New York Times) poured scorn on his critics, proudly standing up for the Obama doctrine on the world stage:
You hit singles, you hit doubles; every once in a while we may be able to hit a home run. But we steadily advance the interests of the American people and our partnership with folks around the world.
While Obama was singing his own praises, Russian-backed militants were gaining ground in Eastern Ukraine, taking over more government buildings, murdering Ukrainian officials, holding European observers hostage, and terrorizing ethnic Ukrainians. So far, the Obama administration’s only response to Russian aggression (including the invasion of Crimea) has been a weak-kneed set of sanctions that have barely made a dent in the Kremlin.
At a time when American leadership is badly needed, Obama has been AWOL on the Ukrainian front. Not only should U.S. sanctions be dramatically increased against Moscow, but a whole host of measures should be implemented, including: the immediate U.S. withdrawal from the New START Treaty, the bolstering of NATO allies bordering Russia (including the establishment of a permanent U.S. military presence in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), the lifting of restrictions on the export of natural gas to U.S. allies in Europe with the goal of reducing energy dependency on Moscow, and a firm commitment to a robust and swiftly implemented missile defense system in Europe.
Sadly for Obama, “home runs” have been in short supply during his tenure in office. Obama’s foreign policy has been an unmitigated failure, one that has emboldened America’s enemies while weakening U.S. alliances. Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan, a true leader who understood the value of building America’s military and strategic power, while standing up to the opponents of the free world. Instead of strengthening the United States internationally, the Obama approach has weakened the world’s superpower, creating a vacuum of leadership that is increasingly being filled by hostile, dictatorial nations from Moscow to Beijing.