Donnerstag, 9. September 2010

A Costly Failure - Obama's Foreign Policy

For days now, Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball is floating the idea of a major shake-up in the Obama-administration. In particular a transfer of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of Defense would be a necessary step to achieve "greatness", as Matthews put it. Since Matthews is repeating this idea I am beginning to to get the impression that Matthews might indeed be serious about this. Well, I beg to differ. I agree that Obama's foreign policy is everything but a success, but a transfer of Hillary Clinton would create more problems than it would solve and here is why:

First, I don't get why the MSNBC-people don't like Robert Gates. He has axed so many programs that he can hardly be described as a failure. It was Gates who terminated the future ground combat system, an expensive program to introduce a whole new family of tanks, APCs and howitzers to the US army. He opposed a second engine for the F-35 and sent a clear message to the navy that the number of its ships would shrink even further. Imagine a democrat in that position? Exactly. Its not really the time to give the Republicans even more to quarrel about.

Second, the foreign policy failure is not so much a failure of nominations but a failure in strategic thinking. The obsession with the withdrawal from Iraq has distracted the Obama-administration from a more important question: How to turn the recent gains in Iraq into a lasting and sustainable success? And while everybody is watching the economy, may I ask what did happen to Obama's extended hand towards Iran? I could have raised China, India, Africa and Russia. But for now, even the most basic challenges to the US are not being addressed.

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