To what extent can Obama influence foreign chaos?

There has been much criticism over President Obamas failure to take extreme measures to control the actions of international relations. Under anarchy, there is no real judge of the international political arena, but the United States has always seemed to fill that role with her countless involvement in foreign relations that arguably do not have much of a direct impact on us, such as the Vietnam war which ostensibly was supposed to bring a halt to communism. Under realist theory, there is no need for States to intervene in other states affairs to that extent, as states will do as they please no matter what- and a country must be able to defend itself, as no one else will be able to completely defend it. Obama reflects this, telling the UN general assembly that

“His country had learned that it cannot by itself impose stability on a foreign land.”

Critics seem to be voicing opinions in opposition to realist theory when countless critics have voiced intense disapproval at Obamas decision to not become overly involved with Vladimir Putin and his International conquests, which have become increasingly destructive. On September 30th, Putin led the bombing attack of sunni rebels in Syria, some of whom were backed by the United States.  A critic in The New York Times calls this “The latest example of American Humiliation abroad.” Russia has also recently invaded Crimea. There is fear that lack of American Intervention in world affairs will cause further chaos. The Economist  article author explains the way the world may see Americas lack of intervention as that of

America throws up its hands; that regional powers, sensing American disengagement, will be sucked into a free-for-all; and that Russia’s intervention will make a bloody war bloodier still. Unless Mr Obama changes course, expect more deaths, refugees and extremism.

Obamas foreign policy, in the eyes of critics, has failed. This is the biggest action that Russia has taken in the Middle East since the Soviet Union was evicted in the 1970s.  Fox news criticizes the United States as “giving up on being the world superpower.” If history has any lessons to show us, it is that this would have very negative connotations, as a unipolar world is much safer than a multipolar world. Does the world see Obamas as sophisticated for not becoming involved, or simply weak? Is it possible for Obama to contain the spread of destruction, or is he correct in saying that he cannot impose stability on a foreign land? Perhaps Americas leaders will perpetually be criticized whether they choose to intervene in foreign affairs or not- a lose lose situation.


4 thoughts on “To what extent can Obama influence foreign chaos?

  1. I think this post is correct in saying in describing the United States foreign policy but not solely Obama. I see where the articles are coming from by relating it to Obamas foreign policy but each country acts as one individuall on foreign policy and as described, having a uni polar world rather than a multi polar world is safer, if the US wanted to take the back seat in intervening in countries. Although the US is a world super power, being in the front line is not everything.


  2. Great post! In my opinion, foreign engagement in a military capacity will always be a lose-lose situation for any president or political party in power, particularly in the Middle East. However, I support President Obama’s platform as it pertains to conflict in Syria and the region at large. In addition, it seems a bit hypocritical to suggest that only the U.S. and its allies can intervene in Syria, and Russia cannot, when the country’s civil war represents a critical threat to Russian security as well – not that I approve of Vladimir Putin’s impetuous decision to involve Russia militarily. I simply resent the fact that the United States supports radical and/or fundamentalist, insurgent groups monetarily, strategically, and militarily in Syria when we, as a nation, cannot entirely trust these non-state actors and their political and religious intentions and affiliations. In my opinion, any foreign involvement (militarily) will only create more instability. I think it is also worth noting that it takes more courage and intellect to restrain oneself from violence than it does to engage in it.


  3. Thank you for this interesting post. I personally do not think it is a good idea for the United States to participate along side Putin’s international conquests. Even though the United States has been seen as “failing” as a super power, I do not think that it is. The United States cannot do everything; it needs help from others with a lot of authority. I personally do not know if the United States should or should not get heavily involved in Syria.


  4. I agree. I feel that Obama is very indecisive with his foreign policy an that means nothing gets done, but more importantly, people die. He needs to stick with it if he commits troops or money or guidance to people. While I may not agree that helping the rebels in Syria is a good idea, the deed has been done and now to pull out and leave them high and dry will do nothing but spur more violence. If you push someone higher and higher and then let go before they’re able to lift themselves up, they will fall harder than if you had left them alone.


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