Obama--The failure of 'smart diplomacy'
America's effort to mediate conflict and effect change in some of the world's most troubled regions has been met lately with a startling response, in country after country -- defiance.
Iran stepped out of the latest round of talks on its nuclear program rejecting a key demand of negotiators and pledging to build two new power plants.
In Pakistan, the country just jailed -- potentially for the rest of his life -- the doctor who helped the CIA track Usama bin Laden. To boot, Pakistan also wants $5,000 for every truck that crosses a still-closed supply route into Afghanistan.
And in Syria, the establishment of a peace plan has been followed by weeks of bloodshed, with a massacre of at least 32 children being the latest tragic example.
The turmoil and the defiance are now fueling foreign policy criticism from President Obama's political adversaries.
Though the economy remains the top issue in the presidential campaign, trouble on the foreign policy front could fray the advantage an incumbent president typically has in that area. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has certainly not hesitated in pointing to the latest developments as a sign that the country needs a course correction.
On Sunday, Romney seized on the massacre in the Syrian city of Houla to again challenge the president's policy toward the Assad regime.
Foreign policy is not the asset Obama thought it would be after the SEALs were able to off bin bin Laden. On the diplomatic front "smart diplomacy" is not looking all that smart or successful. While Obama wants to take credit for his retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan, he is leaving neither country in good shape and in Afghanistan he has no avenue of retreat to get our equipment out of the country because he has angered Pakistan and the longer it takes to work something out the more time is on their side and they will attempt to hold us up or we will have to have a fighting exit."After nearly a year and a half of slaughter, it is far past time for the United States to begin to lead and put an end to the Assad regime," Romney said in a written statement. "President Obama can no longer ignore calls from congressional leaders in both parties to take more assertive steps."...