Last week, former President Jimmy Carter used the Aspen Institute’s annual event to state that President Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments “have been minimal”:
President Obama was criticized last week by the president he is often compared to, Jimmy Carter. Carter told an Aspen Institute audience that Obama’s accomplishments on foreign policy “have been minimal” and that the United States’ influence is “lower than it was six or seven years ago.”
After proclaiming John Kerry “one of the best secretaries of state we’ve ever had,” Carter dumped cold water on Obama’s record abroad. “On the world stage, I think [Obama’s accomplishments] have been minimal,” Carter said.
President Carter wasn’t finished:
Carter declined to blame Obama for the U.S.’s dismal foreign policy outlook, stating simply that circumstances “have evolved.” However, he did state that the U.S. had suffered a reversal of fortunes in foreign policy since Obama took over from President George W. Bush.
“I would say the U.S.’s influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably lower than it was six or seven years ago,” Carter said.
President Carter is being a bit generous in saying that President Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments have been minimal. During President Obama’s watch, a US ambassador was killed for the first time since 1988. His then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gave a reset switch to her Russian counterpart. As a return ‘gesture’, Russian President Putin took Crimea from the Ukraine.
Then there’s the Arab Spring, which President Obama and Mrs. Clinton anticipated to be legacy items. When they let Hosni Mubarak fall in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood took over. When they toppled Muammar Qaddafi, ISIS took over.
That’s before talking about ISIS’s rapid spread throughout the Middle East and north Africa. They went from being called a JV team one year to controlling most of Iraq’s major cities the next year.
President Carter is right that “the U.S.’s influence and prestige and respect in the world” is “lower than it was six or seven years ago.” As for President Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments, President Obama has had more failures than accomplishments.