- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In 2011, President Obama pledged to help the United States win the future. Now that the future has arrived, Mr. Obama will have a hard time explaining why we are losing it.

Foreign-policy and national-security affairs occupied about 15 percent of Mr. Obama’s speech last year. He waxed about a world in which “America’s moral example must always shine for all who yearn for freedom and justice and dignity” and in which “American leadership has been renewed and America’s standing has been restored.” Another year of Mr. Obama’s stewardship has not moved the United States measurably closer to the future he described.

Last year, Mr. Obama announced that U.S. troops were departing Iraq and violence was down. This year, our troops are out of Iraq, violence has escalated sharply, and the future stability of that country is in doubt.

Last year, Mr. Obama said America had “taken Taliban strongholds” in Afghanistan and was “strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an enduring partnership with them.” Now U.S. troops are departing Afghanistan and U.S. envoys are engaged in secret talks with the Taliban, while the government in Kabul wonders whether the “enduring partnership” will last much past the election if Mr. Obama returns to office.

Last year’s speech didn’t mention Osama bin Laden. Now that he is dead, it’s safe for Mr. Obama to say killing him was the plan all along.

Last year, Mr. Obama touted the new START nuclear-weapons treaty, which he said would guarantee “far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed.” A year later, only America is actually disarming, while Russia expands its force under the very terms of that misguided treaty.

“Because we rallied the world,” Mr. Obama bragged last year, “nuclear materials are being locked down on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists.” Yet there are reports from Pakistan that the government has begun to shuttle its nuclear warheads around the country in unsecure trucks because they don’t trust Mr. Obama and think he will try to seize them.

“Because of a diplomatic effort to insist that Iran meet its obligations,” Mr. Obama said last year, “the Iranian government now faces tougher sanctions, tighter sanctions than ever before.” Now, because of these efforts, the world faces a crisis that may lead to war.

Last year, Mr. Obama said nothing about Israel. This year, he really needs the Jewish vote.

“We revitalized NATO,” Mr. Obama claimed before using all of NATO’s bombs in Libya. “We’ve reset our relationship with Russia,” he said, which has been unsettled again. “I will travel to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador to forge new alliances across the Americas” he promised, to no lasting effect. After he gave $2 billion in loan subsidies to Brazil to develop offshore oil, the Brazilian government has repaid Mr. Obama’s gift by signing a production contract with China.

The president calls this winning the future. It looks a lot like losing.

The Washington Times

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