US Foreign Policy Under The Microscope

In a guest editorial for The Weekly Standard, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton comes forward again with criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

She says that there is no doubt “that Hamas initiated this conflict and wanted to do so in order to leverage its position” and therefore, “the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made.”

She also offers commentary on American power and influence in the world, saying that what she worries about most is jihadist groups.

“Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’être is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank—and we all fit into one of these categories. … Now the big mistake was thinking that, okay, the end of history has come upon us, after the fall of the Soviet Union. That was never true, history never stops and nationalisms were going to assert themselves, and then other variations on ideologies were going to claim their space,” she writes.

Another critic of the US policy in the Middle East is David Rothkopf, the author of the upcoming book, National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear.

Writing in Foreign Policy, Rothkopf sees the nation as confronting “an unprecedented region wide series of crises that are each seemingly being treated by U.S. policymakers as though they were unrelated” and to which our responses have been “reactive, typically veering between the passive and the inadequate.”

“In short, at a particularly fraught moment in a dangerous and vital part of the world we seem to be without a clear vision or a plan for achieving it,” he concludes.

To find our way out of the policy morass, he says, leaders must recognize that the events occurring in the region are related and “while the extremist actors and groups go by many names and are independent of one another in important ways, they also share important links,” which is where the solution lies.

“For example, think of the strong, clear, and documented financing links between Qatar (including the government as well as rich Qataris and Qatari NGOs) and extremists in Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Syria, and the Persian Gulf. Doha is not just the favored residence of on-the-run terrorists from Hamas to the Taliban, it is the financial capital of the terrorist world.

“Perhaps most importantly, these threats are linked not just by shared patrons or social media ties or a common appetite for brutality; they are linked in being part of a larger historical narrative,” says Rothkopf.

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