Charles Krauthammer: Why Hillary got it right
- Hillary Clinton, The Atlantic, Aug. 10
LEAVE IT to Barack Obama's own former secretary of state to acknowledge the fatal flaw of his foreign policy: a total absence of strategic thinking.
Vladimir Putin has 45,000 troops on the Ukraine border. A convoy of 262 unwanted, unrequested, uninspected Russian trucks with allegedly humanitarian aid is headed to Ukraine to relieve the pro-Russian separatists now reduced to the encircled cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine threatens to stop it.
To this day, Obama seems not to understand the damage he did to American credibility everywhere by slinking away from his own self-proclaimed red line on Syrian use of chemical weapons.
He seems equally unaware of the message sent by his refusal to arm the secular opposition (over the objections of Secretary of State Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and CIA Director David Petraeus) when it was still doable. He ridicules the idea as "fantasy" because we'd be arming amateurs up against a well-armed government "backed by Russia, backed by Iran [and] a battle-hardened Hezbollah."
Every moderate U.S. ally in the Middle East welcomed the original (week 1) Egyptian cease-fire offer. They were stunned when the U.S. then met with Qatar and Turkey, Hamas' lawyers, promoting its demands. Did Obama not understand he was stymieing a tacit and remarkable pan-Arab-Israeli alliance to bring down Hamas (a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood) - itself an important U.S. strategic objective?
The result? The worst possible outcome: A land divided between the Islamic State (IS) and Assad, now wholly owned by Iran and Russia.
Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for The Washington Post.
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