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  • Libya: The Obama Doctrine Inaction

    The Wall Street Journal wrote Saturday:

    Whatever else one might say about President Obama’s Libya policy, it has succeeded brilliantly in achieving its oft-stated goal of not leading the world. No one can any longer doubt the U.S. determination not to act before the Italians do, or until the Saudis approve, or without a U.N. resolution. This White House is forthright for followership.

    That message also couldn’t be clearer to Moammar Gadhafi and his sons, who are busy bombing and killing their way to victory against the Libyan opposition. As the U.S. defers to the world, the world can’t decide what to do, and the vacuum is filled by a dictator and his hard men who have concluded that no one will stop them.

    The op-ed is titled The Obama Doctrine, which is also the title of a Backgrounder Heritage Analysts Kim Holmes and James Carafano published last year:

    Ineffective presidential doctrines also have characteristics in common. The most common elements are an overconfidence in international entities, a disregard for the importance of American independence, and far less emphasis on American exceptionalism as it was traditionally understood.

    Consider the policies of Woodrow Wilson. At the outset of his presidency, Wilson described his intention to follow a less aggressive, more “ethical” foreign policy than his predecessors had followed. He talked about moral diplomacy and remaining neutral in foreign affairs, relying on economic relations to create a “concert of nations” to keep the peace. His approach to engagement, however, failed to stem the tide of World War I or prevent America from having to intervene in Europe.

    President Obama believes that his outward orientation will improve America’s standing in the world and thus its security, but America’s policies and interests can never mirror those of other countries. No other country has the caliber of military and economic resources to compare to ours, and no other country accepts the kind of responsibility we have for assuring the security of free people around the world. Our interests will always be at odds with those of other nations, no matter how much we try to conform to them.

    The tenets of the Obama Doctrine described in this paper do not suit either this geopolitical reality or someone who believes in America’s obligation and ability to lead. Rather, they suit someone who believes he is managing America’s decline in a “post-American” world. They do not reflect history or the threats we face. They will serve to undermine America’s strengths and make it more difficult for friends and allies to figure out where we stand or how we might act in critical times. Ultimately, the Obama Doctrine will force friendly nations to look elsewhere, not to Washington, for arrangements that bring them greater security.

    And that will make this a far more dangerous world indeed.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Libya: The Obama Doctrine Inaction

    1. Chris, hawaii says:

      There's plenty of dangers in a US-led response. A big one is the possibility of quelling all these rebellions in the Middle East. People might not be too quick to revolt if it means possibly inviting the US into their country.

    2. Kishore, Philadelphi says:

      Whether the "obama doctrine" will create a more dangerous world or indeed send the wrong signal to our allies can only be known in the years to come. There is a time for everthing. A time to act and a time to be hesitant and prudent. Whether Obama has got the timing right is the key question here. To say that america will always rush headlong into a war in the name of leadership, is in actuality nothing short of stupidity. We have paid the price of that sort of "leadership" too many times before.

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    4. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      It's very simple to understand Obama Libyan policy. Just look at the relationships

      and connections between Gadhafi, Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, and then Obama.

    5. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      "We serve the Foreign Interest exclusively!" That is the Obama Doctrine in American Foreign Policy. Nothing Obama does is for Americans! There is no construction conceivable how Bankruptcy serves the National Interest! There is no argument for his self destructive Energy Policy that makes it truly Constitutional, that is "for the good of the People!" Lucky me, I have no credibility to protect! I can say it outright, President Obama is a Communist Infiltrator who stole Election and is happily destroying our Nation. (Yeah, Bankruptcy counts as Destruction).

      So when it comes to Libya, it looks like Obama might help BP in their problem with Libya, but American Interests? Nothing for American Interests anywhere in Obama's Foreign Policy! He won't drill in ANWAR and destroys American Industry wholesale in the Gulf! We are 'slowly tightening the noose' emphasis on 'slowly' but America will get nothing from going after daffy Kaddaffi! Nothing!

    6. Patrick (Sacramento) says:

      Libya: This is another clear case of Obama having no idea what to do or how to go about it. According to the news people on the ground in country, Gadhafi and his sons are using their superior fire power to slaughter the rebels who just want the things that we have in our democracy.

      What happened to the theory that we support those who desire the same rights that we Americans have?

      Obama, it is time to take care of business. Get Gadhafi to stopp or get NATO to stop him.

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    8. Kevin H, college par says:

      Thank goodness Obama is not like our last president, rushing into war over misinformation, putting American soldiers' lives on the line and spending trillions. Not a suprise Conn lines GW's way of doing things compared to Obama's. Seems Conn like the idea of attacking whoever and wherever we want – and going at it alone.

      Based off records of how GW did with arab dictators (and how Heritage and Conn backed GW's wars) in comparison to how 2 arab dictors have already toppled under Obama without invasions – i think we can call see who is going about this correctly. Bush = 0, Obama =2, going on 3.

    9. Bobbie says:

      How ironic and ignorant you are, Kevin.

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