Saturday, August 9, 2014

'Leading From Behind' Doesn't Make Any Sense When It Comes to US Foreign Policy

The Obama Foreign Policy Explained
One thing we learned from President Ronald Reagan during our time on Capitol Hill was this:

'Peace Through Strength'
works.

The Berlin Wall came down soon after Reagan left office. The Soviet Union fell apart after that. The 1990's were generally a time of peace and democracy spreading throughout the globe

One thing we have learned watching President Obama's foreign policy for the past 5.5 years now is this:

'Leading from Behind' doesn't work.

Look at all of the hotspots around the globe today. Ukraine. Israel-Gaza. ISIS all over Iraq building a caliphate to end all caliphates. We have a flood of illegal immigrants coming over the southern border of the United States and still this Administration does nothing to stem the flow.

The closest thing we have seen to this period of waning US influence overseas were the last years of the presidency of Jimmy Carter 1979-80. Ayatollah Khomeini first focused American and worldwide attention on the fundamentalist Muslim movement when they ousted the Shah of Iran and established the Islamic Republic of Iran.

They held 52 American hostages at the US embassy for 444 days which spawned the advent of such late night news shows as 'Nightline' with Ted Koppel who covered every day of this ordeal. Round the clock cable news followed soon thereafter.

Guess when the Ayatollah released these 52 brave hostages? About 30 minutes before Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 1981.

Why would the radical Islamists of 1981 release these hostages after thumbing their nose at the previous President Carter for 444 days? They were afraid of the new President for his comments about restoring American military might and prestige around the globe. They knew he meant business and they didn't want to take the chance or the risk that Tehran would be Ground Zero for one of the new Cowboy President's displays of American confidence and might.

Aren't we almost exactly in the same position today in international affairs? Hardly anyone seems to worry about what President Obama might do on the world stage if they invade another country, domestic or foreign. Not even the death of Osama bin Laden has magnified President Obama on the world stage.

He and Secretary of State John Kerry have drawn so many lines in the sand in Syria, Ukraine, Gaza, the Texas border and other places around the world and not enforced them that the bad guys see this time as their chance to expand their power while the getting is good.

We recently had the chance to visit with some missionary friends of ours who were relocated from Ukraine (it is most definitely not 'The Ukraine) to another nation in Europe where they continue their work.

The husband told us an interesting story that we have not seen on the evening news or the cable stations yet.
'There are no Russian separatists still left in Ukraine', he began saying. 'What you see now in Ukraine are almost totally mercenary armies hired by the former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, who fled to Russia with about $2 billion in funds he absconded with, most likely skimmed from US aid accounts we had been sending them.
Their strategy is to destabilize Ukraine to the point where Russian thug and president, Vladimir Putin, can make a calculation as to whether he can send in Russian troops not only to secure Crimea, as they have done, but the entirety of Ukraine. If he thinks America and the Allies will not make a strategic move to stop them, he will do it'
'What could have been done to send a signal to Putin to back off?' I asked him.
'President Obama sending in a few SEAL Team VI or Ranger units would have been enough for Putin to back away. All he wanted to see was whether western nations were going to let him move into Ukraine unimpeded, in which case he would go, or put up even a small fight, in which case he wouldn't.
'It is that simple' he concluded.
Foreign affairs is never simple we have found over these past 30+ years of being around it. There is almost always some complication that the general public doesn't know about nor do they need to know about.

However, brutish dictators, thugs, terrorists and overall 'bad guys' do fear one thing and one thing only: A nation with the military might and expertise to turn their lives into a living terror or their deserts into sheets of glass.

Ever since President Obama embarked on his world-wide tour from the beginning of his presidency in 2009 where he bowed to foreign leaders (something no US President has ever done anywhere, not even to the Queen of England) and apologized for every sin under the sun whether America committed them or not, bad guys like the Muslim Brotherhood and Putin have chosen to expand their spheres of influence, not reduce it.

US foreign policy can not be dictated by other nations. We have to be able to project US military might and protection around the globe or else we will rue the day when we retreated to our home borders and let the bad actors run free across the globe.

Know what the only nation in recorded human history is that has repeatedly gone into foreign nations to free them from oppression...and then willingly gone home soon thereafter?

Correct. The United States of America.

The Roman Empire never went into a nation, freed it from oppression and then left. Neither did Alexander the Great, the British Empire or the Soviet Union, just to name a very few conquering superpowers of the past.

Our great-grandfathers and grandfathers help rescue the French and other European nations during WWI; our grandfathers and fathers rescued the entire world from the monomaniacal plans of Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan.

We kept troops in Europe long enough to secure the peace but the majority of troops were home almost immediately after both World Wars to End All World Wars. We still have troops in Korea and Japan and other places but that is more because those countries want the protection of American military might to keep them free from any aggressive action from the Chinese.

Even in Iraq and Afghanistan, the plan was to keep troops there as long as necessary to secure the peace and allow both nations to covert to democratic principles and practice.

At this rate under the Obama 'Lead from Behind' policy, ISIS will have overrun Iraq and Afghanistan in about 1 month after the targeted withdrawal of troops by President Obama and all of those lives lost and taxpayer funds spent will be for naught.

President Obama's foreign policy and domestic border strategies of 'Leading from Behind' have clearly failed.

'Speak softly and carry no stick' clearly doesn't work.


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