by Tom Donelson on May 24, 2010 at 4:28 PM
After the Munich agreement, when the French and British surrendered the Sudetenland to the Germans, the French alliances in Central Europe dissipated. The French had set up a series of alliances within Central Europe including Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia that sat on German western and southern border and combined equal a major power. After Munich, many of these nations made deals with the Germans, and even the Russian completed their own deal right before the Polish invasion. The Poles found themselves surrounded on three sides and there was no way the French and the British could directly help the Poles in any invasion by the Germans.Their only option was to go through the Siegfried line on the Franco-German border (which in 1939 was lightly defended.)
In the past month, the Obama administration has suffered severe setbacks in foreign affairs that resembled what the French and the British experienced when their military alliances disappeared. Obama is losing allies while strengthening our enemies and rivals world wide. The world is a more dangerous place since the previous administration.
For the past year, the Obama administration has dissed our Allies. Obama began by shipping the bust of Winston Churchill, a gift from the British, back to London. This began a foreign policy reset, which undercutting the Czech Republic and Poland by removing Strategic Defense Initiative as a favor to the Russians, which has produced nothing but contempt from the Russians.
The Obama administration has shown nothing but scorn for Israel, allowed Russians to re-exert control over Eastern Europe, including Ukraine (who was pressured into extending for 25 years its lease of the Black Sea naval base) and Georgia, whose two province of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was essentially annexed. Other nations, many of whom are Iranian allies, have watched our appeasement of Syria as the United States sent our ambassador to Syria while Syria tightened its grip over Lebanon and strengthens Iran's position in the Middle East. As Charles Krauthammer noted, "The price for this ostentatious flouting of the U.S. and its interests? Ever more eager U.S. 'engagement.'"
If returning the bust of Churchill back wasn’t enough, the State Department issued a gratuitous slap over Falklands to our British allies, allies who have suffered casualties in the war of terror, fighting by our side. Our enemies watch our passivity dealing with Hugo Chavez, who is organizing an anti-American coalition including Nicaragua, and Bolivia while establishing military and commercial ties with Russia and Iran.
Recently, Brazil and Turkey have given cover to Iranian nuclear design with the recent nuclear deal in which Iran transfer 1200 kilogram of low enriched uranium to Turkey and as the Wall Street Journal editors noted, "If the West accepts this deal, Iran would be allowed to keep enriching uranium in contravention of previous U.N. resolutions. Removing 1,200 kilograms will leave Iran with still enough low-enriched stock to make a bomb, and once uranium is enriched." Iran has outfoxed Obama and has now set up alliances that surround Iraq and border Afghanistan.
Krauthammer observed, "Given Obama's policies and principles, Turkey and Brazil are acting rationally. Why not give cover to Ahmadinejad and his nuclear ambitions? As the U.S. retreats in the face of Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela, why not hedge your bets? There's nothing to fear from Obama, and everything to gain by ingratiating yourself with America's rising adversaries. After all, they actually believe in helping one's friends and punishing one's enemies."
Turkey and Brazil are hedging their bet for if the United States is not willing to stand up for its alliances or against its enemies, then they need to make the best deal possible. Just as French allies moved away from the French and the British during the policy of appeasement before World War II, so are some of our allies. For many nations, trusting the United States could be their death knell.
That is one explanation. In the case of Turkey and Brazil, there is another reason. Both Brazil and Turkey want nuclear power. For Brazil, nuclear weapons allow itself to be a true leader of counter-American alliances south of the equator, whereas Turkey is abandoning its secular tradition of the 20th century and dreaming of establishing an Islamic Ottoman Empire. If Iran goes nuclear, these other nations will as well and that is only the beginning. Name an American ally under our nuclear umbrella, and you will see a potential nuclear power. Nations like South Korea and Japan will reexamine their options and once they go nuclear, they will also reconsider their alliance with the United States. What will happen if the Iran gets the bomb? Strategist Ralph Peter noted, "Once Iran gets the bomb and takes the (slight) heat, Brazil and Turkey both intend to go nuclear." What Obama has done was to give other nations a license to go nuclear and we will see increase of nuclear proliferation in a world where the United States is weaker.
About Obama foreign policy, Charles Krauthammer observed, "Nor is this retreat by inadvertence. This is retreat by design and, indeed, on principle. It's the perfect fulfillment of Obama's adopted Third World narrative of American misdeeds, disrespect and domination from which he has come to redeem us and the world. Hence his foundational declaration at the U.N. General Assembly last September that 'No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation' (guess who's been the dominant nation for the last two decades?) and his dismissal of any 'world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another.' (NATO? The West?)"
Obama foreign policy is leading to a more dangerous world in which the United States is just one of many nations working through international organizations and finding ways to "have dialogue over issues of the day." The problem is that there are many nations who do not have our interest at heart and anxious to fill the vacuum left behind with the United States is in retreat. Krauthammer has observed that, decline is a choice and this administration has chosen decline. Future generation will pay the price in increase debt, decrease living standard and in blood in a more increasingly dangerous world.