Little was made of foreign policy achievements for the first 100 days by either Obama or the press. There is a reason. It is abysmal.
The five main areas of concern are North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. North Korea. After Kim launched his “satellite” which failed to achieve orbit, we took him to task at the UN. Even got the UN to pass sanctions on three companies involved in missile work, none of whom have we ever traded with. Kim threw a hissy fit and announced he would restart his plutonium producing reactor to make more weapons and refused to attend the Six Party talks, making them now, the Five Party talks. At our urging, Russia sent Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Pyongyang to smooth things out and got snubbed. At least he got 9,000 miles of perks from Aeroflot for the trip. Iran. No progress at all.
Ahmadinejad continues to snarl and threaten the dismantlement of Israel. There is no talk of resolving the nuclear stalemate. We have proposed talks to have talks to discuss it. The State Department is very good at that. The new Netanyahu government has turned the tables on the US which is pressuring it for a two state solution. Bebe has said he would be glad to talk about that, once Obama has succeeded in resolving Iran’s nuclear threat. Good hardballing Bebe.
Afghanistan. Obama’s personal diplomacy during his European trip resulted in a commitment for 5,000 troops to help in our efforts. Only problem, none of them are combat troops. All are trainers. Perhaps the French are worried Obama might beat them at their own game and bug out first. If only the French would send 900 military chefs instead, but alas mais non.
Iraq. Frictions are developing between Maliki and Hillary over making overtures to the Baathists who ran Saddam’s government. Maliki will have none of it. No kumbaya for him, he lost too many relatives. Something triggered the unusual public statement by Hillary, that “We are committed to Iraq.” Possibly it was all the talk of “date certain withdrawals” and “over the horizon redeployments” for the last few years that has Maliki on edge.
Pakistan. This is turning into a disaster. Remember they have about 5 dozen nuclear weapons floating around. Well Zardari felt the best way to solve the Taliban problem was to give them the Swat valley, sort of like what Neville Chamberlain did 70 years ago. But they got grabby and took neighboring Buner too about 60 miles away from the capital, Islamabad. Soon the world could be faced with a nuclear armed Taliban government in Pakistan. Scary!
Will Obama follow through on his pledge of August 2007? From the Washington Post:
…that as president he would be prepared to order U.S. troops into that country unilaterally if it failed to act on its own against Islamic extremists.
No one thinks he will. And that’s the problem. No one knows what to expect of this inexperienced, naive administration.