Sakset/Fra hofta

Victor Davis Hanson registrer er merkbar forandring i amerikansk utenrikspolitikk med Obama. Tidligere har USA fulgt venn-fiende-inndeling som var til å forstå, og med en tilsvarende respons når amerikanske interesser var truet.

En rettesnor har vært kapitalisme og politisk frihet. De landene som fulgte en slik kurs kunne påregne allianse med USA og kanskje militære garantier. Det hadde ikke vært noe Hyundai og Samsung uten Korean-krigen, skriver Davis Hanson.

Under Obama inntrådte noe nytt. Nå vet ikke landene hva de har å holde seg til:

Over the last five years, those long-held strategic principles have largely been ignored or rejected by the Obama administration. There is real doubt today that the U.S. would risk coming to the aid of South Korea, Japan, or Taiwan. If Putin tomorrow sent a division into Estonia to deliberately provoke an Article V NATO response, he might well not get one — and therefore may well try. If Iran tested a bomb next year, the U.S., for all its now-trite “unacceptable” and “outrageous” talk, would likely shrug and assume that a nuclear Iran was analogous to a nuclear Pakistan or Israel and thus no big deal. Our allies assume that since 2009 American friendship is mostly rhetorical or ceremonial, but no longer exists in the sense of any serious guarantees.

The U.S. might intervene again against a dictator, but only if it could do so by leading from behind, with other powers in the front line, and only if the target were weak and clearly tottering. So, for example, we followed France and the United Kingdom into Libya, once it was evident that Qaddafi’s days were numbered, while steering clear of unilaterally punishing Syria for WMD use, although thousands more had been killed in Syria than in Libya, by an Assad who had much more fight in him than did Qaddafi. We certainly have had little interest in the Mogadishu-like landscapes into which these two Mediterranean countries have descended. American intervention is currently predicated not on the nature or threat of the rogue regime, but on two criteria: Would removing a rogue killer entail casualties? And: Would other countries lead the intervention?

Obama har forsøkt med «resets» og dialog der han mente Bush sviktet. Men har han oppnådd noe? Verden opplever at USA trekker seg tilbake, og kan man stole på USA? Stoler Israel og Taiwan på at USA vil risikerer en storkrig for å forsvare dem, eller begynner de å se seg om etter andre løsninger?

Det kan se ut som om USA lar land som Kina og Russland og Iran ordne opp regionalt. Obama har definert det som overstretch at USA skal være verdens politimann.

Men en slik verden blir en farlig verden, skriver Davis Hanson.

The Obama initiatives of the last five years have ended in general failure. “Reset” with Russia — an effort to undo the Bush-era ostracism of Russia after the Georgia invasion — only encouraged more aggression and anti-Americanism. In fact Putin seems to harbor a particular grudge against Barack Obama, as if U.S. sermons in combination with perceived weakness demand a crude Russian demonstration of our hypocrisy.

The special relationship with Turkey only empowered Erdogan to undermine democracy and promote an intolerant Ottoman Islamism.

Isolating Israel brought no dividends. Engaging Iran and dropping sanctions has probably ensured its soon-to-be nuclear status and the alienation of our former allies in the Sunni Arab world. Our policy with regard to Egypt would be seen as a disaster, if anyone could figure out what exactly the American policy was.

The pivot to Asia was a toothless gesture. If Obama’s current Asian policies persist, most of our major allies in the Pacific will probably go nuclear in the next few years.

Obama forfølger en anti-strategi, skriver Davis Hanson. Det er det motsatte av strategi. Han gjør som figuren i eventyret, som strikker om dagen, men rekker opp igjen alt om natten. Og det blir mindre og mindre igjen.

What drives the Obama anti-strategy?

The world is confused. Is the U.S. just inept, and therefore our friends and enemies for a while longer are putting decisions on hold, assuming that wiser heads in the Democratic party, or the voters in 2014 and 2016, will correct the aberration? Or is the new anti-strategy a deliberate effort to diminish U.S. influence and outsource regional problems to local hegemonies, on the theory that Iran, Russia, and China have more legitimate influences in their own neighborhoods?

Who knows? But most people abroad fear that we have entered a very dangerous period. It is becoming clear that the United States cannot continue on its present course and still be the United States, and without the United States in the lead, the world cannot remain the world as we have known it since 1945. But, unless a return to sanity arrives before then, the next two and a half years are a window of opportunity for lots of bad people to cash in their chips and take their winnings to the bank.