As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relation senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.
Even to his most ardent admirers, Barack Obama is an enigma. What principles drive him? What ideology is at the heart of his policymaking? In the case of Ukraine, admirers have rushed to commend the president’s “realistic” appreciation of the limits of American power.
Give this much to the president — he knows what he wants. Charles Krauthammer pegged him early in his presidency as a man for whom foreign policy is a nuisance, something to be kept off the front burner first and foremost.
As bloodshed and nuclear menace mount in the Middle East, China and North Korea flex their military and nuclear muscles in Asia, and America retreats almost everywhere, how will history judge Barack Obama?