Foreign policy is supposed to be really boring. Really boring. It should be such that everyone knows exactly who you are allied with and who you aren’t. When someone from the State Department gets up to speak, you should be able to predict what they’re going to say about any particular country. For a long time, foreign policy was just a matter of saying the same messages over and over.
Now, however, we have a president who claims to use “Smart Diplomacy”. Obviously, it’s much more intelligent than any other president’s foreign policy. This is a big, bad foreign policy that wears sunglasses, has its own Twitter account, and always gets into the best dance clubs. With Smart Diplomacy, you can be friends with a country and then be an enemy of the same country soon after. Or, vice-versa!
For example, we used to be allies of Egypt. Then, during the Arab Spring Fling, we became supporters of the opposition which overthrew the Egyptian government. After the new Egyptian government became somewhat hostile to us, we told the president that he had to go. After the new government came to power, we were friends again. However, we won’t sell weapons to Egypt so they can fight terrorists in the Sinai. See? Wasn’t that smart?
Or take Syria. For a long time, we have been opposed to Syria because it was a state sponsor of terrorism. Then, during the Arab Springy Thingy, we became even more hostile to them because they used chemical weapons on the insurgents. However, once ISIS beheaded two hostages (never mind all of the other people who had been mercilessly killed before that time), we turned against the largest insurgent groups, ISIS and Al-Qaeda, effectively helping our enemy, the Syrian government.
Israel is another case in point. We were allies with Israel. When Israel was attacked by Hamas, our Smart Diplomacy chastised both sides for fighting, and we decided to stop selling missiles to Israel for their Iron Dome system. Are we allies or not? Brilliant, is it not?
Unfortunately, there are ideologues in our country who think this approach is truly good. Because they want to see the liberal policies of our administration succeed, they are unable to see the chaos our foreign policy is causing. Instead of looking at our foreign policy objectively and evaluating its effectiveness fairly, they simply want to give it a pass because it was promoted by a liberal administration. Many times, people become nearsighted to the drawbacks of others simply because we are biased toward them.
If only we would truly wise up and realize that our friends need to assured that they are our friends. And our enemies need to know that we are always in opposition to them because of what they are doing. Now that would be the smart thing to do.