Garry Kasparov bemoans the effects of the Obama Doctrine:
A quick glance at the latest headlines suggests a jarring disconnect from the stream of foreign-policy successes touted by the Obama White House and its allies. President Obama has been hailed by many as a peacemaker for eschewing the use of military force and for signing accords with several of America’s worst enemies. ...
Power abhors a vacuum, and as the U.S. retreats the space is being filled. After years of the White House leading from behind, Secretary of State John Kerry’s timid warning to the Kremlin this week to stay out of Syria will be as effective as Mr. Obama’s “red line.” Soon Iran—flush with billions of dollars liberated by the nuclear deal—will add even more heft to its support for Mr. Assad. [emphasis added]
I called this problem 6 years ago:
Saying that foreign policy is a distant second in priorities for this administration might seem an odd thing to say for a president who has traveled abroad so much already.
But it makes sense if you think of the trips abroad as efforts to disengage from foes and retreat a bit by giving our foes what they want in order to buy time to pass domestic legislation.
Understand that when you retreat, it takes a while for an enemy to pursue you and fill the vacuum. And that time it takes for the enemy to re-engage will surely be much quieter.
And if you want to, you can argue that the period of quiet while the enemy approaches is actually "peace." It isn't peace, but you can pretend for a while that it is so you can focus on domestic issues.
Enemies are approaching. And stopping them will be more costly now because they have gotten used to us retreating when pushed just a little bit.
UPDATE: So little time, so much to retreat from:
U.S. President Barack Obama believes that holding military talks with Russia on Syria is an important next step and hopes they will take place very shortly, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday.
Spongespine Spandexpants is up to the task!
We're so screwed.