America’s Foreign Policy Fiasco
Image Credit: White House

America’s Foreign Policy Fiasco


US President Barack Obama is piling up the foreign policy disasters. In at least three areas crucial for world peace and US interests – Arab-Israel tensions, Afghanistan-Pakistan and Yemen-Somalia – he’s pursuing a course that can only be described as foolhardy. Indeed, the anger and hate towards the United States that he’s generating could take a generation to dispel.

Obama’s abject surrender to Israel on the Palestine question has shocked much of the world and gravely damaged the United States’ standing among Arabs and Muslims. In what is seen by many as an effort to court the Jewish vote at next year’s presidential election, Obama has thrown into reverse the policy of outreach to the Muslim world that he expressed so eloquently in his 2009 Cairo speech. If he’s now driven to use the US veto at the UN Security Council to block the application of a Palestinian state for UN membership, he will have been defeated by the very forces of Islamophobia he once hoped to tame.

Obama’s policy in Afghanistan is equally perverse. On the one hand, he seems to want to draw the Taliban into negotiations. But on the other, some of his army chiefs and senior diplomats apparently want to destroy the Taliban first. This is hardly a policy likely to bring the insurgents to the table. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ryan Crocker, the new US ambassador to Kabul, actually said that the conflict should continue until more of the Taliban are killed.  Who, one wonders, is in charge of US policy?

In a message on the occasion of the Eid at the end of Ramadan, Mullah Muhammad Omar, leader of the Afghan Taliban, seemed to hint at his readiness for a comprehensive negotiation. ‘Every legitimate option can be considered,’ he said,’ in order to reach the goal of an independent Islamic regime in Afghanistan.’ He urged foreign powers to withdraw their troops ‘immediately’ in order to achieve a lasting solution to the problem. In a gesture to his local opponents, he stressed that the Taliban didn’t wish to monopolize power and that all ethnicities would participate in a ‘real Islamic regime acceptable to all the people of the country.’

Surely the United States and its allies should respond positively to this message? A conference in Bonn next December is due to review NATO’s war in Afghanistan – a war that seems closer to being lost than won. About 25,000 soldiers reportedly deserted the Afghan armed services in the first six months of this year because they had lost faith in the Hamid Karzai government’s ability to protect them and their families. Coalition troops are due to withdraw their troops by the end of 2014. Might there not be an argument for an immediate offer of negotiation together with a pledge of an earlier withdrawal?  It is, after all, far from clear what strategic interests, if any, the West is defending in Afghanistan.

October 1, 2011 at 04:21

The militia we support in Afghanistan is not different from the Taliban on these issues. The only difference is that they now actively promote the production and export of drugs.

John Pedler
October 1, 2011 at 02:06

We at JP Diplomatic Consultancy warned in 2002 that an invasion of Iraq was likely to end in disaster for the US and its NATO allies in Afghanistan. By the time Obama inherited this incipient “Vietnam” the only option was to try to secure the situation sufficiently to begin a withdrawal (and he tried but maybe his military advisers were too optimistic and made mistakes). Unfortunately this hasn’t worked: the al-but catastrophic Bush legacy cannot be unravelled. Worse – quitting Vietnam caused little lasting damage: there was a viable alternative government to take over. But there is none in Afghanistan and the world repercussions of American withdrawal threaten to be grave indeed.
For years now we have supported the policy of internationalising Afghanistan because all its neighbours – and most other countries (including all the permanent members of the Security Council) have a major interest in a stable in Afghanistan when America (and NATO) leaves. Sadly there is no evidence that the US or any other major player is trying to further such internationalisation of Afghanistan. Maybe that will come – hopefully not too late.It is very rare that there is such a degree of common interest among so many countries – that cries out to be exploited by all of them.

Eric Spencer
September 30, 2011 at 17:27

The USA is not called ‘Under Satan’s Army’ for nothing!
Planet Earth has becomes the Devil’s play ground with the Us as its proxy.

September 30, 2011 at 11:50

Mr.Seale, your country has lost. You have been invaded and it’s just a matter of time until the British / European social guilt model caves under the stress of the immigrants that youmhave invited and your tax dollars are supporting. There are 22 Arab / Muslim States. Soon to be more as 3/4 of Europe is reconquered. Look and listen to the violent protests in London. Will you protect your infidel children and wife when they come for you. After the Jews, you are next. Look at history, listen to what they say and read their book.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where it is safe to be gay. Where women have equal rights. Where Arabs, yes Muslims can vote in a full democracy. The left are a bunch of misguided fools. Israel in the melting pot of diversity that you all wish for. The place where Arab gays seek refuge and asylum and it’s granted. The same way that the National Socialists (yes, the left) Fell in line like useful idiots for Hitler, you fall in line liken useful idiots to the propaganda of the Arab League. And give applause and respect to genocidal maniacs. Yes, the UN would like Israel to surrender and go away. I’m actually looking forward to turning away the boats of the likes of you when youmare off the shore, hoping for refuge in Israel. But won’t happen, because you will already have happily murdered another 6 million Jews for being too much of a bother. Read Melanie Philips last book, “The World Turned Upside Down”, and maybe then you will write a retraction and and understand that Israel is fighting for it’s life. While your friends, the supposed “PLO”, fight to steal the last few inches of Israel and ignore the fact that the UN already gave them Jordan.

September 30, 2011 at 11:49

The USA has no choice but to continue in Aghanistan, Iraq and else where as it has a solemn self proclaim and self anointed policy to police the whole planet.
Pulling back now will be an enormous loss of face that we will not be able to take.Our Pride will be completely diminished.
As there are no monies left, the only thing to do is to cut off the Pensioners pension,sack the civil services, the teachers, librarians, fire fighters and others that are not contributing to the wars.It is probably a good idea to dfart these peoples into the wars, then they will not complain too much and it is a good way to creates jobs, as these peoples will be employed.

September 30, 2011 at 11:25

@Chris – oh dear I despair when I still see US people mouthing the completely fraudulent idea that somehow the US military attack was about helping Afghans. Yes the Taliban were fundamentalist – but they wanted to be accepted as a legitimate gov. In response to this and Afghan public pressure – they were already modifying their extreme views and policies. They would have moved along into more modern policies, given the chance.

The Northern Alliance – the US military ally in Afghanistan are the most horrendous group of foul-Fundies in the country. They have re-instated the sexual abuse of boys – whicjh the Taliban had outlawed and stamped out; they and the CIA have cranked up heroin production, which the Taliban had outlawed and virtually stamped out.
The War is about heroin money and threatening Iran and China – and the Afghan people have paid the price for US paranoia and aggression – as have people all around the world from Vietnam to Latin America and the former Yugoslavia.

Please – don’t pretend is is for anything other than US greed, delusions of World power and corruption of the CIA by drug-money.

The US is The Evil Empire which threatens us all and the very planet we live on – stop fooling yourself there are any good motives to their foul violent lunacy.

Yankees GO Home !

September 30, 2011 at 05:33

The root cause of all the problems we have, both domestic and with foreign
policy are the very existence of private central banks. The sole purpose of
all the wars in the middle east and elsewhere that we are instigating is the
need, on the part of the banks to create debt. Debt based fractional reserve
banking is fundamentally inflationary and unstable. It cannot be made stable
as long as it is based on debt. The unsustainable debt loads have crashed the
western economies, which are in effect Ponzi schemes. The only solution, other
than collapse is to bring in more debtors at the bottom of the pyramid. Thats
what the wars are for. We must invade and completely destroy a country with
natural resources. We then install a private central bank as we have in Iraq,
Afghanistan and now Libya. We then loan vast amounts of money to these countries
in the form of IMF loans to be collateralized with the oil or other valuable
resource. We must destroy the middle class. as we have in every case because it
is from the middle class that nationalism always emerges. That’s why we must
keep the countries we liberate impoverished and in chaos. Get rid of the
FED and the big banks and all these wars would stop over night because they wouldn’t be necessary.

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