Hillary, 'Smart Power', and Obama's Foreign Policy

To say that U.S. foreign policy during Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama's reign has been a disaster would be an understatement.  But the disaster was on purpose, not due to his incompetence.  As Victor Davis Hanson wrote:

His foreign-policy errors result not from incompetence but from a conscious agenda.

So, in light of the "agenda" comment, we must examine two questions about foreign policy: Why? and What's next?


"Smart power," "...an approach that underscores the necessity of a strong military, but also invests heavily in alliances, partnerships, and institutions of all levels to expand American influence and establish legitimacy of American action," became a core principle of Obama's foreign policy strategy. I guess Obama missed (on purpose?) the part about a strong military. Obama, in his May 2011 speech on the Middle East and North Africa, "...called for a smart power strategy, incorporating development, in addition to defense and diplomacy, as the third pillar of his foreign policy doctrine."

How, then, has Obama's "smart power" manifested itself?

Obama has a quite adolescent view of his ability to win over anti-Western rulers and revolutionary societies. He thinks that being (what he calls) friendly to hostile states will inspire them to return the friendship. He believe that using force creates more problems than it solves. He thinks that U.S. allies are morally inferior, and that revisionists, such as Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran will prove to be superior allies.

He expresses empathy for revolutionary figures of the non-Western world while they laugh at him. For example, Obama bent over backwards to get a deal with Iran, and appealed to Tehran to seize a "historic opportunity and begin a brighter future." Meanwhile, Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei said, "Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure."

He apologizes to our enemies, speaking of America's "own dark periods." He warns adversaries of past U.S. "dictating." He makes remarks about past Christian excesses, such as the Crusades.

He opposes colonialism, the era in which the United States (and some European nations) occupied other countries as satellite states.  (When did the U.S. ever have satellite states?)

Obama sees economic development as a component of foreign policy. But not, apparently, domestic policy.

Obama's goal is "to postpone many of the toughest choices associated with addressing major problems until after the president has left office."

Obama is an incredibly arrogant and egomaniacal liar. Witness the Iran nuclear deal and what he's telling the U.S.

The above illustrates Obama's "smart power."

In summary, as Daniel Pipes wrote:

The Obama [Foreign Policy] Doctrine is simple and universal: Warm relations with adversaries and cool them with friends.

What's Next?

Part of the answer to this question comes from above. Obama was/is a figurehead only. He left the difficult day-to-day foreign policy work to Hillary Clinton. As a result, Hillary is just like Obama. 

If Hillary is elected president, she will appoint a Secretary of State to do her bidding, which she has proclaimed to be "smart power," a continuation of Obama's "smart power" foreign policy. Therefore we can expect her foreign policy to be a continuation of the disaster of the last seven years.

In her book Hard Choices, Hillary wrote:

I approached my work with confidence in our country's enduring strengths and purpose, and humility about how much remains beyond our knowledge and control.  I worked to reorient American foreign policy around what I call "smart power."  To succeed in the 21st century, we need to integrate the traditional tools of foreign policy -- diplomacy, development assistance, and military force -- while also tapping the energy and ideas of the private sector and empowering citizens, especially the activists, organizers, and problem solvers we call civil society, to meet their own challenges and shape their own futures.  We have to use all of America's strengths to build a world with more partners and fewer adversaries, more shared responsibility and fewer conflicts, more good jobs and less poverty, more broadly based prosperity with less damage to our environment.

She wrote that in early 2014, because her book was released in June 2014. Has her foreign policy vision changed at all? Indications suggest "No."

So... What, in the way of foreign policy, can we expect from Hillary? More "smart power." What she said on December 3, 2014, at Georgetown University, provides an indication:

This is what we call smart power.  Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security.  Leaving no one on the sidelines.  Showing respect even for one's enemies.  Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view.  Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions.  That is what we believe in the 21st century will change -- change the prospects for peace.

Is it exercising "smart power" to empathize with the enemy? Hillary certainly thinks so. And how can anyone define the problem or determine a solution of those who shout "Death To America"?

And can anyone forget what Hillary said in January 2013 in response to questioning about the Benghazi debacle: "What difference at this point does it make?" Is this an example of Hillary's "smart power?"

As David Rothkopf, CEO and editor of the FP Group, wrote last October:

... even the momentary lift Obama's foreign policy is experiencing this fall is likely to dissipate when longer-term historical trends start to regain the upper hand.

Well, historical trends have regained the upper hand. Witness Russia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Iran now controls four Middle Eastern capitals: Sanaa, Beirut, Baghdad, and Damascus. Next Cairo and Tripoli? "Iran is working hard to exploit the chaos in Libya, and it almost got its way in Cairo when the Muslim Brotherhood initially overthrew Egypt's military leaders."  "Smart power" at work. We can expect the same kind of "smart power" foreign policy from Hillary.

Okay, Republican presidential candidate (whom I hope is a conservative), here are some of the "smart power" foreign policy "accomplishments." Loudly and often point these facts out. Don't expect the MSM to do it for you.

But that's just my opinion.

Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University.  Now retired, he was a (very conservative) university professor.  Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army.  He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.