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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

BREAKING NEWS: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down.

Fox News reports:

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and handed control of the country to the military, Vice President Omar Suleiman said Friday in an address on state television.

The announcement touched off a wave of jubilation throughout Cairo’s Tehrir Square, where tens of thousands of anti-government protesters had gathered demanding Mubarak’s ouster hours after he failed to do so in an address on Thursday.

“In these difficult circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the position of the presidency,” Suleiman said. He has commissioned the armed forces council to direct the issues of the state.”

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soldiers stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building.

Here is a great video clip from Fox Insider — the reaction in Tahrir Square at the moment of the announcement:

The Egyptian military is now in charge. While everything seems great right now, as The Heritage Foundation points out, the country of Egypt has a long way to go:

The Egyptian military faces many challenges: restoring order, cracking down on violence, ensuring that the economy does not collapse, and guiding a political process that will allow time and space for the voices of the Egyptian people to be heard. Egypt’s most pressing need is economic reforms that will improve the livelihoods of its citizens and create a platform that will allow civil society to flourish. If either the Muslim Brotherhood or the country’s “old guard” is permitted to hijack the revolution, the needs and aspirations of the people will never be satisfied, and the country could lapse into an authoritarian state even less desirable than that of the Mubarak regime.

Are you wondering how President Obama heard about President Mubarak stepping down? He heard the news the same way everyone else did… Through television:

Caught up in stunning news like the rest of the world, President Barack Obama was in an Oval Office meeting Friday when he learned of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation. He watched the celebration on television and prepared to make an afternoon statement.

President Obama is scheduled to speak about Mubarak’s resignation at 1:30 PM ET.

Exit Question: Will he take all the credit? Probably not, because his loyal followers are already doing it for him.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked the anti-war movement these days?

Answer: The attendance at anti-war rallies have decreased significantly.

Has America’s overall foreign policy changed at all? Mmm, not so much. So what else has changed since President Bush left office? Reason.TV explains:

Even as President Obama maintains close to 50,000 troops in Iraq and continues to escalate and expand the war in Afghanistan, the antiwar movement in America continues to shrink (PDF).

So, what happened?

Reason.tv visited two antiwar protests—one left-leaningone libertarian—in an attempt to answer that question. Author and historian Thaddeus Russell and Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty also weigh in.

War, it seems, is a bipartisan venture, which is reflected by the fact that Democrats have a favorable view of Obama’s foreign policy, despite its remarkable similarity to George W. Bush’s foreign policy. And though there have been rumblings of antiwar sentiment from some on the RightRepublicans remain strongly in favor of an interventionist foreign policy.

Although public sentiment is turning against the war in Afghanistan, the always-shifting withdrawal deadlines and the unwillingness to touch defense spending mean that this bipartisan war is likely to continue far into the future.

It is obvious that Democrats (especially young ones) just wanted go out and yell at something, because of their hatred for the previous administration. Now that they have one of their own in the White House, they seem to be struggling with a little case of amnesia. For the sake of our national defense, it is good thing that a majority of Democrats have jumped on the bandwagon that the Republicans have been steering for almost a decade now.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked President Obama’s changes to our National Security Strategy?

Answer: The terms “Islamic radicalism” and “Jihad” will no longer be used.

Hmm… Appeasement? Or just another liberal attempting to hump the leg of ‘political correctness’? Either way, President Obama has been on a roll this week! First, President Obama reversed 60 years of U.S. nuclear policy and pledged we would not retaliate with nuclear weapons. Now this nonsense…

FOX News reports:

President Barack Obama’s advisers will remove religious terms such as “Islamic extremism” from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said.

The change is a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war and currently states: “The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century.”

[...]

That shift away from terrorism has been building for a year, since Obama went to Cairo, Egypt, and promised a “new beginning” in the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. The White House believes the previous administration based that relationship entirely on fighting terror and winning the war of ideas.

Just great… Symbolism over substance. :roll:

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Obama-Question-Afghanistan

Wonder what you would find if you frisked Obama’s plan on Afghanistan?

Answer: Once again, back to the drawing board.

I think most (smart) people realized that foreign policy would be a problem for Barack Obama. By smart people, I mean those who had their noggins present in reality and realized you cannot talk every country into peace no matter how well President Obama gives speeches. Although, that’s why he picked Joe Biden (that nobody knows of) because of his masterful insight on foreign policy… Haha, it’s almost laughable.

The latest on Obama and Afghanistan:

President Barack Obama is still working on his big decision: what to do about the Afghanistan war? On Wednesday, he held another Situation Room strategy session with his national security team. The day before, press secretary Robert Gibbs, said that Obama was pondering four options, without describing these alternatives. Media reports had suggested that each one involved deploying more troops. But hours following this latest AfPak gathering, AP reported that Obama had rejected all four options, and the news leaked that the US ambassador in Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, had sent two classified cables to Washington noting he was deeply concerned about dispatching additional troops to Afghanistan until the government of President Hamid Karzai demonstrates that it’s serious about addressing corruption and incompetence.

They have yet to find that groove. In past weeks, the White House has insisted that it will not pull out of Afghanistan, yet it has simultaneously noted that it can only succeed if it has a partner that “is free of corruption and transparent.” (What happens if there is no such partner? The White House won’t say.) The administraion has set up a daunting to-do list in Afghanistan—guaranteeing there is a working and honest government, an effective security force, and no safe haven for terrorists—while stating, as Gibbs put it, “our commitment can’t be forever.” (Those missions could take close-to-forever to accomplish.) And when Gibbs was asked if Obama has made good on the promise he stated in March to set “clear benchmarks” on anti-corruption efforts for the Afghan government, the press secretary could only reply that “conversations are being had.” But by defending the election process in Afghanistan, the White House seemed to be stepping from routine political spin toward public denial of reality.

The honest policy wonks in and outside the administration who focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, even as they disagree with each other, usually say there’s no telling if one particular course of action will work. The experts have nothing but best guesses. Which makes Obama’s decision all the more difficult. But one thing’s for sure: Afghanistan is a political minefield for Obama. Many within his own party don’t want him to deploy more troops; Republicans are looking for opportunities to blast his handling of the war. And the public is torn. As Obama threads both the policy and the political needles, he and his aides will have to ponder how best to persuade the voters they are proceeding with eyes wide open about what’s occurring on the ground in this far-away place. Especially after the previous administration, Obama will only be able to win support for his policy—whatever it turns out to be—if the public perceives it is reality-based. Given how discouraging the reality is in Afghanistan, this will be one of the most daunting tasks of Obama’s presidency.

Mr. Obama, I thought you said Afghanistan is the war of necessity? You’ve had a plan (created by the general YOU picked) on the table for months and still no word.

Side-Note: Unbelievable… I guess in Obama’s eyes it is okay to be playing politics rather than address the important issue of our troops in harm’s way without the resources they need to succeed.

I sense another broken promise coming…

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PoliticalADvertising

Keep America Safe.com

Keep America Safe.com

Good advertisement for the new KeepAmericaSafe.com.

The website was founded by Liz Cheney and William Kristol. The new site plans to challenge Obama on foreign policy:

The mission of Keep America Safe is to provide information for concerned Americans about critical national security issues. Keep America Safe seeks to influence public policy by encouraging dialogue between American citizens and their elected representatives in order to produce legislation and executive action that enhances the national security of the United States.

Side-Note: As you can tell from the video above, this is a good group to have around due to Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience.

Props to Liz.

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McChrystal

Wonder what you would find if you frisked President Obama over the issues in Afghanistan?

Answer: He doesn’t have a clue.

It’s not a good thing when one of your top generals threatens resigning, because you won’t give him the resources needed to win. So while Obama is sitting in his little oval office playing politics or going to New York City for an all out media blitz (again), the situation in Afghanistan isn’t getting any easier:

Adding to the frustration, according to officials in Kabul and Washington, are White House and Pentagon directives made over the last six weeks that Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, not submit his request for as many as 45,000 additional troops because the administration isn’t ready for it.

In the last two weeks, top administration leaders have suggested that more American troops will be sent to Afghanistan, and then called that suggestion “premature.” Earlier this month, Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “time is not on our side”; on Thursday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged the public “to take a deep breath.”

In Kabul, some members of McChrystal’s staff said they don’t understand why Obama called Afghanistan a “war of necessity” but still hasn’t given them the resources they need to turn things around quickly.

Three officers at the Pentagon and in Kabul told McClatchy that the McChrystal they know would resign before he’d stand behind a faltering policy that he thought would endanger his forces or the strategy.

“Yes, he’ll be a good soldier, but he will only go so far,” a senior official in Kabul said. “He’ll hold his ground. He’s not going to bend to political pressure.”

The amateur in Obama stood out clearly during his unsuccessful Sunday morning media blitz. So far, it seems Obama’s foreign policy in Afghanistan is failing. Take a look and compare how the strategies were implemented in Iraq and Afghanistan:

For Afghanistan, the process to decide on a course change began in March of this year, when Bruce Reidel was tasked to assess the situation. This produced the much-heralded yet vague “AfPak” assessment. Then, in May, General David McKiernan was fired and replaced by General McChrystal, who took command in June. General McChrystal’s assessment hit President Obama’s desk at the end of August, almost three months after he took command. And yet now in the last half of September, the decision on additional forces has yet to be submitted to the administration.

Contrast this with Iraq in the fall of 2006. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was fired just one day after the elections in early November. The Keane-Kagan plan for Iraq was submitted to President Bush shortly afterward, and encompassed both the assessment of the situation and the recommended course of action, including the recommended number of troops to be deployed to deal with the situation. General David Petraeus replaced General George Casey in early February 2007, and hit the ground running; the surge strategy was in place, troops were being mustered to deploy to Iraq, and commanders on the ground were preparing for and executing the new orders. The first of the surge units began to arrive in Iraq only weeks later, in March.

Reminder to Obama… you are the leader of the Free World sir, so act like it. Show America your an actual leader and not the amateur senator with hardly any experience under his belt. Dodging questions during liberal media interviews and sitting on the issue doesn’t help out those already fighting overseas! Trust your Generals and lets finish this thing!

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BidenIran

Wonder what you would find if you frisked Joe Biden’s ‘expert’ foreign policy skills?

Answer: Iran ain’t no thang!

Joe Biden is back at it again! Saying really dumb things, of course. CNN reports:

Vice President Joe Biden earlier refused to confirm to CNN that the George W. Bush-era plan was being shelved.

But he did explain the logic of doing so, saying Iran — a key concern for the United States — was not a threat.

“I think we are fully capable and secure dealing with any present or future potential Iranian threat,” he told CNN’s Chris Lawrence in Baghdad, where he is on a brief trip.

“The whole purpose of this exercise we are undertaking is to diminish the prospect of the Iranians destabilizing that region in the world. I am less concerned — much less concerned — about the Iranian potential. They have no potential at this moment, they have no capacity to launch a missile at the United States of America,” he said.

Great… All this in an attempt to make nice with Russia. Think that will happen? (Cough*Doubt it*Cough) At least Biden assures us that Iran can’t strike America… yet. Good to know, but how about our allies? Here’s what Poland thinks about the U.S. not providing them with missile shields:

Former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Lech Wałesa, has spoken out about media reports that the US has scrapped plans to install a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

“Americans have always cared only about their interests, and all other [countries] have been used for their purposes. This is another example,” Mr Wałęsa told TVN24. “[Poles] need to review our view of America, we must first of all take care of our business,” he added.

“I could tell from what I saw, what kind of policies President Obama cultivates,” the former president added. “I simply don’t like this policy, not because this shield was required [in Poland], but [because of] the way we were treated,” he concluded.

Yay! Good to know that Poland (our ally) feels they were thrown under the bus – which they were. But what was this administration thinking?

The Obama administration said its decision had nothing to do with Russia and everything to do with Iran. The president and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the move was made in large part because the latest intelligence out of Iran shows a greater threat coming from short- and medium-range missiles, and the old plans were developed with long-range, intercontinental ballistic missiles in mind.

Well that makes sense… right? But what about this:

But officials in the U.S. and other countries have been warning that Iran is making headway in developing long-range missiles and a nuclear weapon, leading Obama’s critics to accuse him of simply caving to Russia, which had been irritated by Bush’s proposal to build the defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

All I got to say to that is: Yikes! I’ll let Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and others beak it down:

“It will empower the Russians and it will scare the crap out of the Poles, Czechs, Ukranians and Georgians. It is a huge mistake,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on FOX News Radio.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., warned that the decision to scale back in Eastern Europe comes at a time when those nations are “increasingly wary of renewed Russian adventurism.”

“Given the strong and enduring relationships we have forged with the region’s nations since the end of the Cold War, we should not, I believe, take steps backward in strengthening these ties,” McCain said

Obama’s ‘Thrown Under the Bus’ Ally Checklist: Honduras, Colombia, Poland, Czech Republic. Look out Israel, South Korea, and Taiwan… Your probably next.

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