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Obama's foreign policy: success or failure?
May 27th, 2014
05:15 PM ET

Obama's foreign policy: success or failure?

With combat operations in Afghanistan ending this year, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday his plan for almost 10,000 American troops to remain in the country in 2015 if the Afghan government signs a security agreement.

"We will bring America's longest war to a responsible end," Obama said in an appearance in the White House Rose Garden.

The announcement offered something to proponents and opponents of a continued U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan after more than a decade of war - the longest in American history. Full story

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At 6:30pm ET, Peter Beinart, who is a contributing editor for Atlantic Media, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol join S.E. Cupp and Van Jones for a debate.

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Do you think President Obama’s foreign policy has been a success?

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Filed under: Bill Kristol • Fireback • Foreign policy • In the Crossfire • Obama • Peter Beinart • S.E. Cupp • Van Jones
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Tom1940

    As compared to? America left the world stage as a leader when, during his first term swing through the Middle East, Pres. Obama "apologized" during his Egypt remarks speech. He went to Saudi Arabia and "bowed" to the leader of the country that produced the 19 terrorists responsible for the World Trade Center Attack of 9/11. It's pretty well much down hill from that point on. So what successes or failures in U.S. Foreign Policy are we talking about here?

    May 29, 2014 at 11:47 am | Reply
  2. ScreamEagle

    The point is we had to invade Afghanistan. They declared war on us and not the other way around. Iraq well we did the world a favor with that war; however, we should do the same with North Korea, because we 150% know that crazy F*** has weapons of mass destruction. LIke Rand Paul say's "F*** the world, if they hate us then stop giving them US money and aid.

    May 29, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
  3. stingerhp

    There are no policies that the sitting president has that are in line with the superior United States of America.. We must realign ourselves to become again, the once great and beloved United States of America....

    May 29, 2014 at 10:12 am | Reply
  4. Robert Walters

    The wars lasted as long as they did because of inept leadership. The Congress had to have know going into wars in three countries that our military would be cut way to thin and they did not reinstate the draft to help with the short fall. Have they done so from the start with a vote to go to war; none would have lasted three years even. So place your blame on the people in Congress willing to start wars and not man up. This also would have saved countless trillions wasted. A vote for war should be a requirement for a draft; otherwise NO, NO war.

    May 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply
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    May 28, 2014 at 9:52 am | Reply
  6. Marty

    I continue to learn from CNN. I didn't realize the country had a foreign policy.
    I thought this statement interesting "We will bring America's longest war to a responsible end," Obama said. Not victory, not successful but rather a responsible end it sound like" I'm leaving somebody else sort out my mess".

    May 28, 2014 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • kurt

      The mess wasn't his, was it?

      The fact is that Afghanistan is unwinnable. We aren't leaving them worse then when we came in, but short of becoming an autocratic power persecuting their people who don't want us there, we can't "win" Afghanistan. And that wouldn't really be winning.

      All we can do is leave the country in better shape then we arrived. I think we've managed that. Not a lot better... but not worse.

      Obama's strategy with the one war we started is much more reasonable. We got involved in Libya with one goal... keep the Libyan air force grounded to aid the rebels. That's all we did. Once the rebels won, we exited... no troops on the ground, no requirement to police the nation long term.

      We used our military to do what it does well... blow stuff up. We didn't ask them to do what they suck at... build a nation from scratch.

      May 28, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  7. kurt

    Overall, his foriegn policy for me comes across as a positive.

    -He's gotten us out of one war and is near doing the same on the second... positive. We could have been stuck in those places for the next 20 years if handled differently.
    -He's kept us out of other long term nation building projects. The conflicts we have stepped into (Libya) involved a short military operation followed by... the military leaving. Positive.
    -He's opened up dialogue with countries we haven't had dialoge with (such as Iran). Positive.
    -He gave Russia too much credit, thinking they'd act reasonably. Negative.
    -He made russia pause by reacting much more strongly then past presidents had to Russian aggression (look at Bush's handling of the Georgia invasion). Positive.
    -His use of drone strikes has alienated those in some middle-eastern nations. Negative.
    -There has been a measured decrease in anti-american activity world wide since 2008. Positive.
    -Pretty much steered clear of Egypt. I'm not sure if that's a positive or a negative at this point.
    -NSA spying on foreign leaders. Negative
    -Use of the economic hammer to respond to military issues. Positive.

    It's a mixed bag. Obviously some will believe we need to be more hawkish and will think things I listed as positives are negatives and perhaps view some others in the opposite light. But overally Obama has come across as a president who tries very hard to avoid military action, instead using economic sanctions and negotiation. But when the point comes for military action, he has few qualms about using it (as seen by the navy seals shooting somali pirates, the killing of Osama bin laden, the drone strikes and the destruction of Libyan military assets). But even then, he exits the military theatre quickly after hostilities are ended instead of committing to nation building like in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    So the "Obama doctrine" is... avoid the fight and compromise if possible. If not, use economic sanctions. If military force is needed, go in strong, blow them up or kill them and then get out as quickly as possible.

    On the whole, I'm okay with that.

    May 28, 2014 at 8:37 am | Reply
  8. Lardoggy


    May 28, 2014 at 12:32 am | Reply
  9. Shawn McFadden

    Ms. Cup, It is with regret, that I have to attack you in the following manner. First, in regards to Iraq, all the troops had to get pulled out because Al-Maliki refused to sign the security agreement that would have protected the troops had they remained in the country. Also Al-Maliki went to Iran to reconcile with its government because of Iraq's actions during the Iran-Iraq war. This was easy for him to do considering both governments are the same religious sect. Next, concerning Iran, taking military action against Iran would have been very costly on many fronts. It's larger than Iraq, they have the capability of closing off the Strait of Hormuz because they have an actual Navy. What's more, that would have validated to Al-Qaeda, that the U.S. and Israel, was trying to destroy Islam, and this would have united countries and jihadists to fight against the west. With regards to Syria, remember, the president wanted approval from Congress to launch strikes against Syria. Congress refused to do so. Plus, what you fail to realize is that yes none of our troops would have been hurt in that strike, but the collateral damage to the civilian population over there would have been costly. Also, Russia is helping the Syrian government with arms. Isn't this how we also got involved in Vietnam??? Next, Ukraine. Remember, this country is not a NATO ally, and Russia did have a legitimate interest as far as the Navy Base in Crimea is concerned. Finally, Afghanistan. President Karzai has refused to sign the security agreement for that country as well, and his time in office is almost up. He's trying to appease the Taliban who see him as a U.S. puppet, and will probably mark him for death after he leaves office. Besides, if the security agreement is signed, there will also be counter-terrorist operations going on there as well.

    May 27, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  10. Paul Johnson

    Obama is a COWARD! We have several opportunities to show the world that we are still a world power and the Coward-in-Chief won't do a damn thing. I just hope that no one attacks the US before he leave office. He'd sit back and say.."that is ok, we don't need that city, you can bomb it". I was a liberal Democrat until he took over, now I am a conservative Republican.

    May 27, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • dcb

      Coward! you are a fool.

      No one has attacked New York or any other part of the USA here at home.

      Bush was attacked in the 1st year .

      May 28, 2014 at 6:19 am | Reply
      • ScreamEagle

        I guess you forgot about the fort hood shooting (1st one) and the Boston bombing? All of his Foreign Policies have failed. Arming the enemy and stealing from our kids to feed the enemy is not "American nor ethical". Rand Paul is right, we need to get out of any country that hates us and put that money back in America. Rand Paul 2016.

        May 29, 2014 at 11:31 am |
  11. drtodp

    Please explain your rational as to why our tiny population of 300 million should rescue the other 6.5 billion people? If that is the case, then those others should be paying us for our effort and the wars should not cost us any money, just our citizens lives. Giving up our citizens lives is okay with those that think we should be in continual wars where there are other countries that should be putting a million or 2 soldiers in themselves.

    May 27, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  12. drtodp

    I disagree with the stance of Bill Kristol in that we should stay in Afghanistan. In my opinion we have been at war for too long and if we cannot find a quicker solution instead of dragging out a war, then we should not go to war. I do not think we should continue to pursue these wars unless the Saudi's, the pakistanni's and all surrounding countries jump in to help and pay for the military actions. We should no longer be the free police of the world. These countries need to solve many of their own issues, we did and we are still solving our internal corruption and crime issues. I think we should really start focusing on our current problems and maintain a strong security profile.
    You talk about our responsibility for solving the worlds terror problems, what about the rest of the world? Why don't they work harder to solve these problems? We have only 300 million people compared to the remaining 6.5 billion on this planet. Why should the load be placed on our small population??

    May 27, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Reply

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