Before the presidential election on November 5, 2012 I posted the following
article. It outlined what I thought was a “new” Presidential doctrine being
formed by the current President. He was re-elected on promises of change and
transparency in his Administration. His promise was to gain control of an
“out of control” world with eruptions of civil wars, terrorist acts and
fallen world leaders. He has now been in office for almost 18 months of his
second term. Read the following and see if he has kept his promises.
November 5, 2012: By the time this is being read the foreign policy debate
between the President and his challenger is history. Nevertheless, since the
United States is a world power, the foreign policy of this country is felt
around the world. Additionally, the way we implement foreign policy goes a
long way toward keeping us safe.
In 1823 when the country was still healing from the wounds of the
Revolutionary War that resulted in the breaking away from the tyranny of
Great Britain, President James Monroe created what has been called the
"Monroe Doctrine." Simply stated, President Monroe said in his seventh State
of the Union address that the United States would no longer allow European
colonies to continue with the practice of colonizing in America. Nor would
any further European influences be allowed to interfere with various states
in the United States.
In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt used the Monroe Doctrine to define the
natural consequence of that Doctrine to extend it to include Latin America.
From the premise of his statement, "Walk softly, but carry a big stick,"
Roosevelt said, "If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable
efficiency and decency in social and political matters ...it need fear no
interference from the United States." He further added, "Chronic
wrongdoing...in the Western Hemisphere...may force the United States...to
the exercise of an international police power." Obviously, President Kennedy
used elements of the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Doctrine to establish
a blockade against the former Soviet Union from establishing nuclear weapons
With the growth of communism after World War II and during the Korean War in
1947 President Harry Truman initiated the "Truman Doctrine" in his promise
to help countries with economic stability, equipment and even military force
for those who were threatened by the spread of communism. If the country's
citizens were resisting the attempts of subjugation by communist pressure,
the Truman Doctrine established the containment policy to keep communism out
of free countries.
In 1980 President Carter saw attempts by the Soviet Union to consolidate
strategic positions in the Middle East to capture the world oil market.
Because of the "vital interest of the United States," in the Persian Gulf
region, President Carter vowed to use military force if necessary to protect
American economic and national interests in the Persian Gulf. Being a strong
ally with Israel, it was President Carter's efforts that brought about the
alliance between Egypt and Israel through the Camp David peace talks.
From the 1980s until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 the Reagan
Doctrine that was created by President Ronald Reagan moved from simple
containment of communism to actually providing military and financial
support to guerilla forces to actually fight the threat of communist
takeover of a government. President Reagan believed in a strong national
defense by ensuring a strong military and thought weaknesses perceived by
enemies was motivation for them to be emboldened to attack the United
President George W. Bush developed a "Doctrine" as a result of the events on
9/11/2001 when terrorists slammed commercial jetliners into the Twin Towers,
Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. The heart of his Doctrine consisted
of his belief that those countries that harbored terrorists and trained
terrorism to attack others around the world should be treated as actual
terrorists themselves. This added the component of "prevention" to the
Doctrines that have survived past Presidential Administrations. The "Bush
Doctrine" consists of a series of policies meant to keep American citizens
safe from terrorists.
Now, with the advent of the current President's inauguration a new
"Doctrine" was implemented. It began with announcements to the enemies
against whom we were waging war being told of the future date of withdrawal
of American forces so the enemy could prepare their own combatants during
their wait for the Americans to leave. It then moved on to a world apology
tour where the President went around the world apologizing for America to
those who sought to destroy America. To put the exclamation point on the new
"Obama Doctrine", the President punctuated his meetings with Middle Eastern
leaders with a waist-deep bow. Not to be misunderstood by the leaders
harboring those training in terrorist camps, the President began to move
away from the only Democracy in the Middle East, Israel.
[to top of second column]
With the new Obama Doctrine firmly in place
the Iranians now have almost four more years advancement in building
nuclear weapons and delivery systems of those weapons. The so-called
"Arab Spring" has resulted in a destabilization of the region with
Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt and thousands of civilian
citizens killed in Syria. The relationship between Russia and the
United States is at a low ebb while the Russian President waits for
the US President to be re-elected so he can "have more flexibility"
to work with the Russian government. This new Presidential Doctrine
represents a new chapter in past Presidential Doctrines. Take a look
at one outcome with the new Doctrine:
In my lifetime, especially when mass media came to the fore with
television, if any attack on an American Consulate or Embassy
occurred that resulted in American lives being lost, it would have
been the number one discussion in the Administration and Congress.
There would have been "measured" responses applied to responsible
groups and a concerted voice of condemnation of the act. Instead,
with this current terrorist attack in Libya resulting in a murdered
Ambassador and three other Americans it was initially covered by the
Administration by having the blame placed squarely on some short
video aired on YouTube that began playing back in July. The result
of that "Doctrine" it only seemed to embolden others in the area to
raise up riots against twenty-two other Consulates and Embassies in
The President, instead of rushing back to the White House and
meeting with his National Security team to discuss options and draw
the curtain of protection around the other Embassies and Consulates
in Northern Africa and the Middle East, flew off to Las Vegas for a
fund raiser. Some of his subsequent discussion was presented to the
American people via a late-night talk show and a discussion group on
the daytime television program, "The View." Even a month later the
Administration and the State Department seemed to be at odds in
statements about the entire incident.
If this is a strategy the Administration is using to demonstrate to
the rest of the world that America is changing its foreign policy
from a position of strength with immediate consequences for
terrorist attacks to a position of tolerance and quiet, apologetic
humility resulting in covering up the attack with diversion, and
apologizing for America's actions, it seems to be working. Not to
America's advantage, but the emboldened positions of the radicals
who are watching.
If the President is given another four-year term in office, I wonder
how far this new strategy will take us regarding our position in the
world community as we move "forward"?
Of course we know the President was re-elected and has been given
another four years in office. Since the beginning of his second term
how can we judge the state of the union in terms of foreign affairs?
Are we safer now since Iran has now had five and one-half years to
continue to develop their nuclear war materials? Are the Russians
close allies because of the “flexibility” the President afforded
them after his election? Have the questions in Benghazi been
answered with those responsible punished for their part? Do we have
better relations with our ally Israel? Do we have the respect in the
world that was promised by the President who wanted the world
leaders to think better of America because of his apology tour and
waist-deep bows? Have we been able to see resolution in the affairs
in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan? Have we gained more
influence with nations like Sudan, Nigeria and Mexico?
Not even counting the domestic scandals that have emerged during the
first 18 months of the second term of the President, can we
truthfully say our standing in the world is on more solid footing
that it ever has been due to the implementation of the Obama
Doctrine? Keep in mind we knew all of this more than 18 months ago.
[By JIM KILLEBREW]
Click here to respond to the editor about this