Obama's foreign policy explained
President Obama,the Next 4 Years: Foreign Policy - Has a 'leading from behind' approach weakened US standing worlwide?
- Duration 16:22
- Date Nov 21, 2012
President Obama,the Next 4 Years: Foreign Policy - Has a 'leading from behind' approach weakened US standing worlwide?
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Tonight senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham former UN ambassador John Bolton former senior advisor to President Reagan -- -- Former State Department official Liz Cheney.
And former secretary of state Henry Kissinger they are all here and we're looking ahead of foreign policy in -- Obama second term.
This is a special edition of on the record.
Forty years later almost after the Nobel Peace Prize been awarded where do we stand as a nation in case you haven't heard bin Laden's dead.
That's good test but that's not a foreign policy.
There is no coherent foreign policy -- time we need when he.
We keep hoping that something's going to change -- -- -- one of the ramifications of an Obama presidency is.
Its defense is not going to grow the coordinated pre planned and brazen attacks against the US consulate and -- The security was -- it appears to many Americans that this administration failed to adequately protect.
US personnel the president has been skipping.
His daily intelligence briefings with respect to run -- very much wanna see a diplomatic resolution -- The problem the president's Iran policy lacks credibility we're not gonna let Iran get a -- report.
The question is whether or not president Obama's defense budget is big enough to deal with the major crises and potential challenges in nine states.
As far some Middle East is concerned this president's national security policy has been.
They hear the arrogance and dishonesty is a little bit breathtaking.
You have to understand what's going on here -- -- earliest -- circled the wagons operation around Barack Obama that nobody's going to penetrate.
In very close contact with countries like Turkey and Jordan that immediately -- Syria and obviously Israel which is having already.
Grave concerns as we do about movements of chemical weapons that might occur in such a chaotic.
Patents are we better.
Off in the Middle East.
Because the policies of the administration.
And the way it's been handling himself when -- president of the United States apologizes.
Or religious fanatics out there killing -- this is profoundly.
Wrong we wouldn't why.
-- hold Obama accountable for -- absolutely disastrous.
President Obama started out this second term what they form policy crisis.
-- Americans murdered in Libya the Obama administration being hammered for its handling of the terror attack in Ben Ghazi.
Four weeks the administration claiming the September 11 attack was a response to a YouTube video.
This same video that sparked -- on protests around the world including outside the US embassy in Cairo.
Now since -- spring we have seen big changes in the volatile region so how President Obama -- -- policy in the next four years.
We asked our experts.
I -- it's a complicated issue and it's terrible to reduce things to sound -- but is there way to describe our current foreign policy.
Made in -- very.
Complex situation because we have written a -- of good can put in public duplicate.
It on Syria.
The evolution of the edit print.
And we have a number of fundamental changes have been going on in -- distribution of to move to cut the media room that I -- to and -- conditioned to -- And and a number of problems at a new -- environment attitude.
We have not developed a coherent.
Could -- to them.
Unit and unit and you have to.
But that's that's to show evidence that the administration.
People look to the United States for leadership they look to us because we have for so long.
In a position where we've been able because of our resources because of our military strength because of our values.
What we've been able to keep peace and where we've been able frankly when it was necessary to make sure enemies feared us.
-- make sure that our allies knew they could count on us.
And when we step back as we did during -- Obama's first term as I'm afraid we're gonna continue to do during a second term.
These vacuum and you see what happens when there's a vacuum you end up with people who very often don't share our interests diving into that backing and filling it.
I travel all over the Middle East every.
Middle Eastern leader that I talked to believes United States this week and leaving.
And they are having to accommodate to that eventuality whether it be in Pakistan.
And that Talabani and Haqqani Network -- whether the the saudis -- to the airport Bahrain then you name that the country.
They are accommodating to American weakness and withdrawal.
And that means that they accommodate them to some of these terrorist outfits.
Such as al-Qaeda and others.
That they are going to have to live with they think because there's not any way to get rid of them.
I see the mideast to -- -- I think the last four years have been a failure by the Obama administration.
Realistically assess the threats that exist the air -- no one saw coming including me but -- -- hellish.
But after the Arab Spring this administration's had -- hands off policy.
When they were trying to -- -- out.
Live -- -- -- and killing zone.
If it were not for Secretary Clinton and -- arrives at the time push in the present I don't think we've ever gotten involved in Libya.
Thank god that Qaddafi -- but once you take the dictator stand Mubarak leaves.
We have no game plan to manage their spring we need to be on the ground training -- Libyan army.
To -- to malicious I went in September.
And last year was Marco Rubio and John McCain and myself and Mark Kirk went to Libya.
We came back and said the biggest threat to Libyan making it is these malicious.
We need to help alleviate the strain -- national army they're willing to pay for it.
In Egypt we really have live from behind.
This idea of handing a hands off policy toward Syria.
Is about to blow the whole region -- the war is now tending to Israel is so thick in Turkey this affecting Iraq is affecting -- So I really believe that the president doesn't change his strategy.
And start -- from the -- from the front.
That Syria and Iran are gonna all come together -- we're gonna have a major conflict in the mideast.
What's the best thing we got out of the Arab Spring so far.
Well you have to give me some time to think about that I mean they the fact is that while authoritarian.
Regimes have been overthrown.
The likelihood is they will simply be replaced by other authoritarian regimes -- or in some cases Yemen in Libya.
Perhaps qualify here.
The country's descend into.
Anarchy where parts are controlled by al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups and where.
The quote on quote successor government really controls very little territory so.
I think overall -- the Arab Spring has not brought democracy in sweetness and light to the Middle East it's brought a deterioration.
Of the security.
Situation and a deterioration of American interest and those of friends and allies like Israel and the oil producing Arab states.
The other section division when it comes to domestic policy when when you land it on this sort of those foreign platform when you go to foreign policy.
There's there's a lot similar anissina it's hard to draw distinction I think -- many things you -- -- disappeared minutes.
Yeah I do this ahead every few I think I think there -- there huge differences I mean I would.
I think that.
This is -- president frankly I would say there are big differences between this president and many democratic predecessors.
This is a president who does not believe and I say that not because I just think it but because he said it himself.
He doesn't believe in an American -- ascendant in the world you know the president went to the United Nations in 2009.
And said any world order that elevates one nation above the others won't long survive.
And you know he really I think came into office believing that the world is safer if America is less powerful.
I didn't I didn't mean SO what was said but sort of what was done and it seems shouldn't administrations often times are in the position.
It is where they just try to do what we try to maintain or manage and you can't really correcting these crises in the world.
Well is that -- very good job -- in maintaining and managing I mean to the extent he's had success.
Whether it was the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Or the drone program that's clearly building on programs that -- started under the Bush Administration.
But at every turn whether you're talking about.
You know not -- any kind of a stay behind force in Iraq.
Or announcing a date certain for our withdrawal from Afghanistan.
You know not supporting the people in Iran when they rose up in 2009 in the green revolution walking away from what had been a very strong and solid support democracy in the Bush Administration.
Treating the war on terror like a law enforcement matter and we've talked about that before but.
You know coming into office and then determining never gonna bring terrorists into America on American soil and that it had I -- I -- it happened because.
People rose up and haven't you know -- what's going to start up.
Is it too simplistic to ask this question do we have more influence now in the world that we did for instance when you're secretary of state.
Or do we have less influence.
We had and more.
The pits and -- And it's a period it competitive they didn't need of being.
These shape because we could operate within a -- and its existing stripped.
And the Princeton group instituted and should step.
If you look at the Middle East.
We -- used to thinking of states.
Because that's what we have good.
But in the the mentally it -- That.
On -- down 1920.
David didn't have to move a little run and -- -- but it didn't -- you European countries.
Did that into the pit owner.
-- countries that she didn't get it up.
To what can.
The kind of stated that -- -- before that and tomorrow morning.
Human that it removed from the couldn't.
What you see is that human -- Shiite.
And soon it in -- And then students and another state and then.
You may have a tendency of uniting -- Egyptian groups that promote book.
So that not only -- -- -- separate wheat -- But they -- system that people.
How do you describe president Obama's policy as it relates to Syria -- -- on.
Egypt that -- area of the world.
I think President Obama.
-- -- -- -- Agrees -- -- he is a non interventionist.
I think he wants to stay out of the Syrian war I think there are people pushing him toward getting into that war.
I think with regard to Iran I think the president and the Pentagon.
Do not war war with -- -- but there -- people in this country certainly Bibi Netanyahu and his allies in the United States.
Are almost mono maniacal on this issue of the ever alleged -- threat to build nuclear weapons.
I think the president does not want to fight another war.
And I think he's right in that.
And I think when he says we got to engage in nation building at home he is right in tune with the American people.
Think it's very clear that they lack of American leadership and weak American leadership -- send -- signal in the Middle East that we don't want to leave.
-- the more tragic aspects for example.
We lost over 4000 brave young Americans we had intended to leave a residual force.
The president obviously didn't want that to happen we now see Iraq unraveling she.
That Kurds going their own way we see -- dramatic increase in violence.
-- that they just condemned the vice president to death I mean it's it's clearly unraveling in al-Qaeda is now set up training camps in western Iraq.
-- -- in airplanes are over flying.
Iraq weapons for the Syrians.
In Syria because of our failure to intervene in any way like providing arms.
And establishing a safe zone.
Al-Qaeda is coming in there in droves.
When this thing -- -- all conflicts do in sooner or later.
We're going to have one heck of a time with the al-Qaeda elements that have moved into Syria and it's going to be very very get -- The Iranians continue on the path to nuclear weapons Afghanistan.
Unraveling to the degree that everybody thinks United States is leaving because that's what -- -- president said.
And so they're accommodating to that eventuality.
North Africa mile ignore -- while he's been taken over about by al-Qaeda.
Week in feckless American leadership has led to an enormous.
-- I -- long term challenges and chaos.
Difficulty -- we will be facing for a long time.
If -- present.
Which country would keep you up -- at night Egypt or Syria.
Egypt is very concerning also but Syria is of much more near term problem in terms of the upheaval that's under way in Syria in terms of their relationship with Iran.
Because we know for example the north Koreans built a nuclear power plant in Syria.
Because if -- falls apart.
And if the extremists.
Yet in this situation you have a real potential for spill over.
And I think that one of the places where you know we should have acted sooner was in Syria to move in there to provide support to provide assistance to tell people look you know we will support those who are fighting for their -- here.
Where the good guys.
And -- a situation where the -- Ronnie answer clearly working so hard.
To help ensure that those who haven't extremist ideology.
Prevail working so hard to ensure that the sharp side stamp -- You've got to say to yourself wait a second why is that the Iran means care so deeply about serious so.
I would be very concerned about Syria given -- them ties to terrorism given its history.
But you know frankly across the Arab world you've now got regions.
Countries where you've got people that are in power who do not supporters see the world the way we -- Everyone's grateful that Osama bin Laden is gone besides -- -- bin Laden.
Is there anything about the Obama foreign policy that you think -- been Smart or something in that day think -- you would have done as well.
Well I have to give them credit initially for perceiving.
The relationship between what happens in Afghanistan and what happens in -- -- but unfortunately the approach they took having emphasize that linkage.
Was to believe that we could withdraw militarily from Afghanistan and negotiate with Taliban that that is that has never been -- the Taliban simply take that.
As a sign of weakness and unfortunately.
The linkage that we tried to understand to prevent Pakistan from falling as well now I think simply is going to be.
Born out if Taliban -- -- Afghanistan.
The odds of radicals taking over the government in Pakistan I think goes up astronomically.