It could use some improvement. Will Inboden explains:
- After dismissing democracy promotion as a strategic priority in the Middle East and even slashing the budget for democracy programs in Egypt, the White House was caught off guard by the Arab Spring and is still struggling to keep pace with the change sweeping the region;
- After elevating multilateralism from a prudential tactic to a dogmatic principle where American leadership takes a back seat, the administration now finds itself engaged in another Middle Eastern war with a coalition of divided leadership and misaligned means and ends;
- After misconstruing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as the strategic linchpin of the entire Middle East, and an imbalanced fixation on a freeze in Israeli settlement activity as the essential precondition to progress, the White House now finds itself back at square one. And they know they have a problem on their policy when evenJohn Kerry dismisses it as a “wasted…year and a half.”
- After lambasting military tribunals and the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism legal apparatus, the administration loses two years before reversing itself and deciding to try 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Muhammed before a military tribunal;
- After publicly dismissing human rights concerns in China and signaling to Beijing that American diplomatic advocacy on human rights need not be taken seriously, the Administration now belatedly takes notice that China is in the midst of its worst crackdown on dissidents in at least three years;
- After downplaying — and sometimes opposing — free trade agreements with American partner nations, the administration now seems to realize the economic and diplomatic costs of this negligence, and is struggling to bring important free trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama across the finish line. Not to mention scrambling to complete the Trans Pacific Partnership before hosting the APEC summit later this year;
- After giving Hugo Chavez a presidential hug, the administration two years later still finds the Venezuelan thug fomenting mischief and undermining American interests across Latin America;
- After extending a unilateral olive branch to Iran, disregarding the dramatic 2009 Green Movement protests, and losing valuable diplomatic leverage, the administration is now struggling to reassert pressure on the Iranian regime in the face of new reports of advances in its nuclear weapons program.
Get ready to vote for him again, Obamaphiles! And get ready to shell out the cash for his campaign. Hope and Change doesn’t come cheap, after all.