What is the Obama Doctrine?

 The author poses a pretty good question, the answer to which may not even be known by the President himself…

What is the Obama Doctrine?

   by Ed Morrissey

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Charles Gibson attempted to lecture Sarah Palin on the “Bush doctrine” in foreign affairs, but managed to get it wrong himself while Palin got it mainly correct.  At least Bush had a “doctrine” in foreign policy.  Can anyone identify an Obama doctrine?  Ken Allard, formerly NBC’s military analyst, can’t suss one out at all:

President Barack Obama dithers over Libya with the predictable result that things have become even worse. Earlier administrations might have sent cruisers, but we managed a commercial ferry to evacuate Americans in fear for their lives. The Brits, however, secretly sent in military aircraft to evacuate 150 of their nationals from harm’s way. Even the Dutch sent in three of their Marines — who were promptly taken prisoner by armed Libyan forces.

Meanwhile, the emboldened Moammar Gadhafi set about making three-hour speeches and sending his ragamuffin air force to bomb rebel strongholds — close to strategic oil terminals. …

The serious point — from the Gulf oil disaster to just about five minutes ago — is that we have a continuing failure of presidential leadership.

Elections certainly have consequences, but what exactly is the Obama Doctrine? Assuming there is anything more substantial to his foreign policy than “smart diplomacy,” then what is it? Speak softly to the Muslim world and hoping that it will love us in return? Speak more firmly to Iran and then try to remain calm when it ignores everything we just said? Or North Korea: How’s that working out for us, Mr. President?

On our last NARN broadcast on Saturday, I brought up this very point.  So far, the Obama “doctrine” appears to be that American power should not be used at all.  The ferry issue is one case in point.  Instead of flexing American muscle as a signal to Gaddafi that we will not stand idly by if the regime threatens our people or interests, Obama’s State Department hired a commercial ferry — and selected an inadequate one for the job at first.  That mistake left Americans waiting at the dock for days, while our mighty navy was given no role to play at all.

One cannot claim surprise at this outcome.  During the campaign, Obama made no secret of his distaste for exercises of American power, blasting the Bush administration for its “arrogance” and promising to restore our relationships with allies and opponents alike overseas through greater “humility.”  While readers puzzle over Allard’s question, allow me to ask another — which international relationship has Obama improved in the past two years in real, tangible terms?  Where has his exercise of “smart power” produced measurably better results in increased security or prosperity over that of his predecessor’s much-maligned (and mythical) “unilateralism”?

If there is an Obama doctrine at all — and the vacillating White House responses to various overseas crises strongly suggest there isn’t — it’s that our allies will love us more and our enemies respect us more if we refuse to use our power for our own interests.  That’s a standard belief in academia, but as we can see, what works well in theoretical environments doesn’t necessarily make sense in the real world.

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6 Responses to What is the Obama Doctrine?

  1. princess says:

    bottom line of the oblah blah doctrine is LIE lol

  2. hybridtalk1 says:

    Easy. The Obama doctrine is:
    (1) Punish hardworking non-union Americans, punish American industry, pamper America enemies.

    (2) Blame Bush

    (3) Turn the people against Sarah Palin since she is his greatest threat in the world politics.

    • Hacksaw says:

      Governor Palin would potentially be a formidable adversary to President Obama, but it’s pretty hard to picture her winning the Republican nomination at this point – any competitor who had completed at least 1 term as a Governor would be able to use her tactic of resigning midway through her 1st term against her, and accuse her of running away when the going got tough…her many enemies in the press, the DNC & even some RINOs or other spiteful Republicans would have a field day criticizing her if she were the nominee, but I doubt if she’ll even run this time around. She’s reasonably young, and has plenty of time to pursue the Oval Office at a later date if she chooses to, especially after fattening up her resumé a little.

      The next Presidential election will undoubtedly be a referendum on Obama, and if unemployment stays high, our economy stays stagnant & he continues to display cowardice & naiveté on the international & foreign policy stage, then it won’t really matter who the GOP nominee is, unless they totally shit themselves, they will stand a better than average chance of being elected.

      I’d like to see the next Republican President put both John McCain & Sarah Palin in his or her Cabinet, in the following roles:

      McCain as Defense Secretary, for several reasons – it allows him to go out in style in a job he’d be pretty good at, it removes an influential but liberal Republican from the Senate, and allows Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to replace him with someone who would undoubtedly be more conservative, and then that person could run for re-election as in incumbent with 4 years of on the job experience as a U.S. Senator.

      Palin as Energy Secretary…she’d be real good at it, and it would increase her experience on a national level and make her a bit more viable in a future run for office, much more so than her running for Senate or something like that.

  3. princess says:

    hack, great points.
    but, sadly, she can’t get elected simply because people “believe” (there’s that word again) that she is stupid & inexperienced.

    and those two words EXACTLY describe what THEY elected………..stupid & inexperienced.

    • Hacksaw says:

      I think Sarah Palin would have a real tough time even winning the GOP nomination this time around (although you can never count her out completely, too many others have done that in the past, to their peril) but if she serves in the Administration of the next Republican President, especially at the Cabinet level, she could very well be a serious contender in a future election, as soon as 2016 or more likely 2020.

  4. girlscout says:

    It’s Palin’s own fault. She had to have known that jumping ship in mid stream would hurt any chances she had at a run for President. And let’s face it. If Obama had done this, you conservatives would be ALL over it. like white on rice. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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