The old order is not working out all that well. The foreign policy establishments of both parties have ended up producing an America that is perhaps the weakest it has been since the end of the Vietnam debacle. George W. Bush launched a disastrous war in Iraq, which drained the country’s riches, bled its military and, in the end, left Iraq as a de facto Iranian vassal. For good measure, he pushed the expansion of trade in ways that accelerated the decline of many American industries, particularly in the Midwest, while helping boost China as our most formidable rival since the fall of the Soviet Union.
If, as Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass has suggested, Bush did too much, Obama’s response was to do too little. By his prevarications and refusal to acknowledge the world as it is, Obama has left behind a disastrous reality. Despite engaging in several armed conflicts and increasingly lethal drone attacks, U.S. influence in the Middle East has weakened while that of Iran and Russia has soared. To be in second place to Russia — with an economy about the size of that great economic superpower, Italy — in the Middle East owed little to hacking, but much to greater skill at outmaneuvering the Obama administration’s diplomacy.
Read the whole essay in the San Bernardino Sun