March 30, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - In speeches and remarks last week in Europe, President Obama made it clear that he considers Russia's annexation of Crimea a very big deal. But he also defined what it's not: an overwhelming national security threat, such as the U.S.-Soviet rivalry in the Cold War, that would trump all other foreign policy priorities. In appearances before European Union leaders, Obama called for a sustained effort to isolate Russia to discourage further encroachment on its neighbors, but emphasized that Russia is not the West's top geopolitical challenge.
March 23, 2014 |
Here's what the United States has done so far in an attempt to deter further Russian incursions into Ukraine: applied two rounds of economic sanctions and asked Congress to approve $1 billion in loan guarantees for Kiev. Here's what President Obama says he won't do: "We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine," he told a television station in San Diego last week. PHOTOS: A peek inside 5 doomed dictators' opulent lifestyles The president's careful response and unwillingness to consider military intervention has met with general support from other Democrats.
March 9, 2014 |
When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, one of his selling points was the promise of a more modest foreign policy than that of his predecessor. And when Obama won reelection 16 months ago, he renewed that pledge. Drone strikes against Al Qaeda would continue, and Navy visits to the South China Sea would increase, but the U.S. footprint around the world was being resolutely downsized. Mitt Romney warned at the time that Obama wasn't being tough enough on Vladimir Putin, but the president scoffed at the idea that Russia was a serious geopolitical threat.
March 7, 2014 |
OXON HILL, Md. - For many of the 2016 presidential contenders who tested their messages at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin's incursion into Ukraine offered the perfect opening to pound President Obama's approach to foreign policy as weak and feckless - a sign of dimming U.S. influence around the world. But Rand Paul, whose non-interventionist foreign policy views have often been out of step with his rivals, did not mention Russia at all. And yet he blew the doors off Friday, drawing the most excited response of any potential contender as he blistered the Obama administration for its expansive surveillance of Americans and accused the president of trampling on civil liberties.
March 2, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - When President Obama surveyed foreign priorities in his State of the Union speech, Iran topped the list, along with Mideast peace and the administration's shift of attention to East Asia. Europe got only glancing mention, with nothing about threats to its security. Suddenly, Russian troop movements in Ukraine, which U.S. officials now are calling an invasion, have shuffled the president's foreign policy priorities and set up what Nicholas Burns, a former undersecretary of state, called “the most difficult international crisis of his presidency.” “This goes directly to vital American interests,” said Burns, who has worked for presidents of both parties.
February 16, 2014 |
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 says, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. " But, like other rights enshrined in that declaration, religious freedom is widely violated around the world. Is that any of the business of the United States? President Obama thinks so, and he's right. Before the most receptive audience imaginable - a National Prayer Breakfast - Obama recently insisted that "promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.