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Obama – Standing Still on the World Stage

October 20, 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize has a long history of decorated recipients. So what has the most recent Nobel Laureate done to merit Alfred Nobel’s namesake?

Perhaps the SNL skit with Fred Armisen’s impression captured Obama’s Presidency best with the phrase “Jack and Squat.”

From the dissolution of plans for the Eastern European missile shield, to the inability to decelerate Iran’s nuclear program, the President of the United States has been beset with a myriad of challenges. China is growing more assertive each day, challenging America on economic issues while continuing to suppress human rights. The War in Afghanistan is floundering for coalition forces. Israeli-Arab relations are tenser than ever with Hamas continuing to seek to engulf Israel in violence. Obama has not managed to solve or make much headway with these problems. Even the International Olympics Committee of all things rejected the President’s pleas for “Chicago 2016” a few weeks ago in Copenhagen.
The axis running from Moscow to Tehran in particular has been a prickling point for Obama. Hoping to use President Bush’s planned missile-defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic as a bargaining chip for levying sanctions on Iran, the President naively thought the preemptive gesture of good faith would placate Putin.
While Obama has certainly been a more popular figure internationally than his predecessor, this has not translated to success in the realm of foreign policy. With Putin still eyeing Georgia, Ahmadinejad being more resilient than ever, and chaos reigning supreme across the Middle East, the President should take a tougher stance in advancing American strategic interests abroad.

-Alex Chen

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