- Canceling the Polish and Czech missile defense bases is understood in Moscow and Eastern European capitals as backing down in the face of Russian bluster and belligerence.
- By insisting that Israel freeze settlements as a precondition to renewing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Obama drew a clear line. But when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu withstood Obama’s pressure, Obama caved, hosting a photo-op with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that strengthened Netanyahu and weakened Abbas just when Obama wanted to achieve exactly the opposite.
- On nuclear nonproliferation, North Korea responded to the “open hand” of engagement by testing its second nuclear device, continuing an aggressive ballistic missile testing program, cooperating with other rogue states and kidnapping and holding hostage two American reporters.
- Iran is revealed to have been long constructing an undeclared, uninspected nuclear facility that makes a mockery of almost seven years of European Union negotiation efforts.
- Obama did not carefully think through his March Afghan policy, or did not have full confidence then or now in Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal or Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, or that it is now politically inconvenient among increasingly antiwar Democrats to follow through on that policy.
That’s not a happy assessment, but sometimes the truth hurts. It seems that the biggest threat to U.S. security interests around the world is now in Washington.