Eight months into his administration, analysts and advocates of President Obama’s foreign policy platform are quickly losing faith with a series of failures and what they see is an increasing backpeddling toward the bellicose policies of his predecessor.
A dramatic escalation in Afghanistan, the centerpiece of his foreign policy, has led to abject failure, rising violence, and calls from military brass for yet another new policy, coupled with yet another escalation. Even looking past the disastrous results on the ground, many officials are growing disillusioned with the president’s unwillingness to define any of his goals in the war, even as he throws ever increasing numbers of troops at it.
His promise of an Iraq pullout was abandoned almost immediately, and his new plan for a drawdown is forever being pushed back by rising violence, and far from withdrawing the administration is actually increasing its overall force size.
On Iran the promise to seek a diplomatic solution has given way to public rejections of calls for talks and the same speculation, hostile rhetoric, and calls for international action that the Bush Administration was forever falling back on.
The most notable change the administration tried was to press Israel harder on peace talks, and while this provided for plenty of interesting opportunities to watch anti-Obama protests in Israel, a few months of rejections on Israel’s part led to the administration publicly and embarrassingly backing off on all of its demands.