President Obama Presidency As A Foreign Policy Essay

President Obama Presidency As A Foreign Policy Essay

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Future US historians may well look back on the Barack Obama presidency as a foreign policy curio that pulled away from traditional alliances while seeking rapprochement with sworn foes. By pivoting towards the Asia-Pacific, his administration also reoriented America’s national interest towards containing China’s rise as a military power rather than managing the power dynamics in the Middle East. This US obsession with China is inexplicable, let us be honest, considering Beijing’s firm no-first-strike policy and bilateral trade worth over half a trillion dollars. Still, safeguarding Arab crude no longer seems to top Washington’s priority list.

Increased US oil production from shale deposits could be one reason. Another is the global rush for green energy to avoid a climate change catastrophe. If burning fossil fuels at present rates for another half a century will usher in doomsday, then it stands to reason that major powers will stop warring over them in the next decade. Ironically, through President Obama’s eight years in office, US relations with steadfast allies Saudi Arabia and Israel have strained even as he strove for peace with the hostile regimes in Cuba and Iran.

The Saudis have long complained that Obama is purposely slow-walking the necessary military solution to Syria’s civil war, despite clear evidence that Ayatollah-proxy President Bashar al-Assad will not relinquish power voluntarily. Unfortunately for them, Russia coming to Assad’s aid in fighting off the armed Syrian opposition has Obama convinced that US boots on the ground could trigger a larger conflict that he has no appetite for, especially with coalition strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in full swing. Furthermore, Washington needs Moscow and ...


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...lf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in April, but the kingdom’s former spymaster Prince Turki Al-Faisal believes, "a recalibration of our relationship with America" is nigh.

Al-Faisal is also not naive about the future consequences of Obama softly backpedaling out of the Middle East. The relationship changes underway, he opines, will replace the status quo as opposed to following the incumbent out of office: "I don 't think that we should expect any new president in America to go back to the yesteryear days when things were different." The Saudi press also spit venom in response to JASTA’s passage, with a hard-hitting op-ed by legal expert Katib al-Shammari in the Al-Hayat daily deploring “the nature of the U.S” that, “cannot exist without an enemy.” Will the House of Saud be able to survive in the long term without Washington’s steadying hand? Only time will tell.

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