I still have questions about the President’s foreign policy, but in my attempt to answer them, my research is hardly about his current strategy than it is America’s history of approach to foreign affairs. Because America is a power in the world with pathological promises like freedom, equality, and opportunity, which appeal to all human senses beyond nationalism, countries surrounding America ask far more of America than America could volunteer to answer. Democracy, on its premise alone, has inserted itself into the world as an admirable state, whether America and its President are aggressively or passively acting on that ideology. With that in mind, questions surrounding the foreign policy of America’s 44th President must demand how the current National and International Affairs are suddenly deemed ‘Obama’s responsibility’ and not ‘Democracy’s Problem’; how the War in Iraq is suddenly deemed ‘Obama’s War’ and not ‘Precaution of Another World War’; how America’s relationship with Russia is suddenly deemed ‘Obama’s relationship with Russia’ and not ‘Results of the Cold War.’ For our foreign and domestic policies are an entangled string of the flaws in Democracy that we do not acknowledge, not the flaws in Obama’s foreign policy that we do not understand any more than its upsides.
Domestically, the Presidential boundary as it pertains to Congress is limited by the binary confusions called ‘political parties,’ and the burden that comes with being an elephant in the room is being the elephant in a room that is set on reminding you that you are the elephant, but not that the rest of the room is some different, uncompromising animal. There lies an already divisive premise, and when translated in a foreign affair, the follow-through will be indecisive. We cannot have National Insecurity and expect International Security, so it is inevitable that President Obama, nor do his critics have a strategy yet.
“We don’t have a strategy yet” were few words spoken by President Obama recently on the ISIS crisis in Syria, and they sounded like a confession in which critics could run rampantly with to discredit faith in the current Presidency. But as we travel the consequential foreign policy timeline of both Democratic and Republican Presidents who are now deemed ‘America’s Greatest Leaders,’ it is not a confession or an admittance to discredit when a leader states that their plans have yet to unfold. Although the necessity of clarity on what “We don’t have a strategy yet” means is justified by the boundaries between the America President and the America People, if we are to ever find out, we must not suggest that this hinders a solution. For any solution that is to solve a longterm problem must be a longterm project, and this we can learn from FDR’s tug-of-war with Isolationism in Japan and Reagan’s 8-year rollback of the Soviet Union.
In both instances of Roosevelt and Reagan, foreign intensity promoted America as the world’s leading power in response to military survival and economic fluency against Communism and a Great Depression. Now, there is heightened senseless violence on our frontlines that translates literally on the front of our lawns, and China leads international nations to capitalize off of America’s capitalism following a great recession that America’s outcome and American Peoples income are slowly, but surely recovering from. The test, socially and economically, was no more or less urgent then than it is now, and the time for finishing the test ran its courses of uncertainty with focus on the longevity of the plan and not the problem.
So, in the same instance that President Obama states, “We don’t have a strategy yet,” he reasons, “This is a moment of testing.”
And our role—as people in America and abroad, as people who believe in the promises of Democracy—is not to rush the strategy with patience for the test. For if we are patient with understanding the test, we must have the same patience when researching the strategy.