Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Foreign Policy

Did Noble laureate Barack Obama think the Russians can't get CNN?

He caved on missile defense so that the Russians would help us put pressure on Iran. But they won't help us, and they say that sanctions won't work. Gee, who could have predicted that?

Course, the cave on missile defense made NLBO look weak so he announced that the scrapped missile defense didn't matter because we would go with a mobile missile defense system; which was a better solution anyway.

But whoops! The Russians heard that too:

MOSCOW (AP) - A top Russian security official says Moscow reserves the right to conduct pre-emptive nuclear strikes to safeguard the country against aggression on both a large and a local scale, according to a newspaper interview published Wednesday.

No, I don't think we're any closer to seeing a nuclear conflict than we were a week ago but the Russians are talking this way for a reason. NLBO is giving ground everywhere. He's being the world-view guy, the world-uniter guy, the Age of Aquarius new day savior guy that he promised he would be. And he backs down so easily, why shouldn't the Russians push? It's also a reminder to Ukraine and the other FSUs that Russia is still the big dog on the block. Anyone think this administration will confront Russia over aggression towards its neighbors?

Putin is showing the world how easily the US president is pushed around. NLBO is hoping that Putin will become a world-view-uniter guy, like himself. I'm hoping NLBO will start looking out for the interests of his own country, like Putin.

***Update:Michael Rubin gets it:
It is now time for Obama strategists to understand that their strategy isn't working and reset. They should have learned several lessons.

(1) Unilateral concessions do no beget unilateral concessions and advance diplomacy. Rather, they signal weakness and forfeit leverage.

(2) Multilateralism can bestow greater international legitimacy upon actions, but it is not a panacea. Rather, accomodating recalcitrant regimes with opposite interests often waters down policy to the point of ineffectiveness. Sometimes unilateralism — or, dare I say it, "Coalitions of the Willing," work.