Monday, November 9, 2015

Speak Softly and don't Have a Strategy

Bill Neinast


This is a hard seek and find.  Correction!  This is a very hard seek and find.

The difficulty is defining or describing the object of the search.  What is being searched for is the foreign policy of President Obama.  

When Obama was inaugurated almost seven years ago, he became custodian of the office of the leader of the world. 

That leadership started as early as 1800 when the U.S. was still a fledgling nation with Thomas Jefferson at the helm.

With a tiny navy and the new, small Marine Corps, Jefferson led the much larger and stronger Great Britain and France to quit paying ransoms to the Barbary Pirates marauding out of North Africa. After the U.S. engaged in several ship battles and stormed ashore with the Marines and some mercenaries, the pirates retreated into their lairs, never to emerge again until recently.

Shortly after Jefferson’s subduing of the African coast, President Monroe established the Monroe Doctrine that warned all nations to keep their hands off the “Americas.”  The warning was that a threat against any of the Americas was a threat against the U.S. and would be answered accordingly.  

No nation ever tested that doctrine.

In the following century, President Teddy Roosevelt came out with the policy of “Talk softly, but carry a big stick.”  He then sent the “white fleet” around the world to show that he did have a big stick.  

More recently, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman were the leaders of the pack of nations that destroyed the Axis. 

The U.S. emerged from WWII as the undisputed leader of the free world that brought the Soviet Union, the only other remaining super power, to its demise through the MAD doctrine (Mutual Assured Destruction).

Throughout the many administrations during these two centuries, other nations respected the U.S. and appreciated that its leaders said what they meant and did what they said.

Then, unfortunately, Barack Obama became custodian.  From the very beginning, he believed and said that he would talk softly but that no big stick was needed.

He apparently believed that he was so brilliant and so well loved that he could just reason with friend and foe alike to bend to his will.  He would just sing Kumbaya rom his TelePrompTers and the world leaders would fall on their knees, sing along, and end with the Alleluia Chorus.

That was his dream, but it never materialized,

So here’s the perspective.

Under Obama’s reign, the U.S. is no longer the leader of the world.  The most recent Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful Peopl rates our President as Number 3.  Russia’s Vladimir Putin is ranked #1 and Germany’s Angela Merkel is #2.

As our local Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee said Sunday, “"The sad fact is, because we've had a failed policy and failed leadership, now we have to rely on Russians and the Iranians to go into Syria to fight and destroy ISIS. I think, again, it's that weakness invites aggression. We have not handled this right. We haven't done anything. We haven't made decisions in the region in terms of a strategy, and when you don't have a strategy, you fail.”

Those last eight words say it all.  When you don’t have a strategy, you fail.  

That is why this seek and find is so hard.  What is the strategy?  Who is the enemy?  If ISIS is the junior varsity, who or what is the first team?

Why do Russia and Iran have to be invited in to fight the junior varsity?

Jefferson, Monroe, the two Roosevelts, Truman and the other presidents who have worn the mantle of world leadership are shaking their heads in disbelief over these questions. 


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