A small blurb in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal defines Obama like no other. It sheds light on his foreign policy in a way to show that he is either incompetent, naive, or bothÂ simultaneously.
Read and wonder who the American people voted for in 2008 and why our hibernation must end.
Waiting for U.S. leadership.
One oft-heard argument against U.S. involvement in Syria’s 18-month-old civil war has been that intervention could provoke a wider regional conflict. President Obama has kept his distance, and one result seems to be . . . a wider regional conflict.
On Thursday Turkey’s parliament authorized military action against the Bashar Assad regime to its south in retaliation for cross-border mortar attacks that killed Turkish civilians. The day before turkey had shelled sites in Syria in response to the attacks. The Syrian regime had previously downed a Turkish fighter jet.
Turkey is a source for good in the battle over Syria’s future, sheltering tens of thousands of refugees from an Iranian-backed dictator in Damascus who is killing his own people to retain power. turkey is also a NATO ally, which obliges the U.S. to come to its aid if attacked. Syria‘s shelling””and the flood of refugees””is no doubt meant as a show of intimidation that Turkey will pay a price if it does intervene.
Turkey has a significant military, but the country is not strong enough or politically assertive enough to topple Assad without U.S. help. The same goes for the Saudis and Gulf states. They are all waiting for U.S. leadership, but in this case the U.S. isn’t even willing to lead from behind. So the conflict spreads anyway, raising the prospect that the U.S. will have to intervene anyway, perhaps at a far higher cost.