17 January 2013, 21:00

Obama: frustrated pacifist, unsure ‘hawk’

Obama: frustrated pacifist, unsure ‘hawk’

What will the newly re-elected US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy be like? Analysts say that this policy’s main guidelines were defined during Obama’s first term. Both supporters and opponents of Obama do not see him as a pacifist or a ‘dove’.

The first US African American President showed just the same hawkish approach to many issues as his predecessor George Bush Jr. did. VOR expert Bruce Fein, who also worked as a law advisor to former US President Ronald Reagan, says that unlike Bush, Obama does not arrest and torture US foes. Instead, he just destroys them with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. Fein says that Obama’s conscience did not twitch at the memory of pinpoint killings, initiated by Obama’s adviser John Brennan. According to The New York Times, Obama daily discusses with Brennan the lists of those to be killed. What’s more, he even nominated Brennan for CIA director earlier this month.

Download audio file

A politician, who started as the ‘president of hope’, finally proved to be a sly chameleon capable of selling Bush’s newly packed foreign policy to the world. Mark Sleboda, of the London School of Economics, believes that Obama only managed to successfully resolve ‘public relations’-related tasks.

Download audio file

"When did an about-face in Obama’s policy take place? It is worth noting that Obama started with the ‘reset’ of Russian-US relations and proposals on the beginning of a dialogue with Iran. His shifting to a ‘hawkish’ course can hardly be blamed on Hillary Clinton alone despite an array of her controversial statements about Russia and the Middle East. All the more so that the US Secretary of State was rather loyal as to her executing orders of her recent rival in the presidential race. Nevertheless," Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Politics magazine, remains upbeat about Hillary Clinton being replaced with John Kerry.

"The fact that Clinton resigns is maybe good for Russian-US relations, Lukyanov says. She served faithfully, upholding the ‘reset’ even though she was not supporting this policy initiated by Obama. It is open secret that she showed a negative attitude to Russia and some of its senior officials, including the President. As for Kerry, it is still unclear what his policy will be," Lukyanov concludes.

Is it possible to expect changes for the better? Thus far, new problems have just replaced old ones. Under Obama, drone strikes came to the fore, for example, something that was not the case with Bush’s presidency. Disappointments in Georgia and Ukraine prompted the Obama Administration to ease policy on endorsing ‘color revolutions’. Even so, the world just begins to reap the fruits of revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring, supported by Americans. Bruce Fein says that real changes will only be possible if the US’ dominating assertive stance on the world is altered, something that will hardly happen during one presidential term. Fein adds that during last year’s presidential elections in the US, other candidates showed practically the same approach as Obama did in this regard.

Download audio file

It is safe to assume, therefore, that the US is currently launching pre-emptive strikes rather than retaliatory ones. But global issues cannot be resolved by technically sophisticated violence. Sooner or later the US will have to embark on a dialogue, something that will hopefully take place before Obama loses the rest of hopes pinned on him.

  •  
    and share via