Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld delivered a scathing review of the Obama administration’s diplomatic debacles in Afghanistan. I’m sure many people will call him a racist, but his remarks were not ad hominem. For the most part, they constrained themselves to facts. Rumsfeld is obviously frustrated with the current international situation, but I think that is also based on the facts—and completely warranted.
Here is a choice excerpt from his interview with Greta Van Susteren:
Our relationship with Karzai and with Afghanistan was absolutely first-rate in the Bush administration. It has gone down hill like a toboggan ever since the Obama administration came in. . . . A trained ape can get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius. And we have so mismanaged that relationship.
And the deteriorating situation with Afghanistan has not just been Obama’s fault, according to Rumsfeld:
The United States government . . . they have trashed Karzai publicly over and over and over. Holbrook, the Special Envoy did. Vice President Biden did. Secretary Hillary Clinton has. The President has been unpleasant to him. . . . Instead of having the US deal with him privately through private diplomacy, [they] came out repeatedly, publically, in an abusive unpleasant manner.
Part of this is bad diplomacy of course. But part of it is that the Obama administration is incapable of seeing the international handwriting on the wall. The Editorial Board of The Washington Post, which has traditionally supported Obama on most issues, summarized Obama’s foreign policy in one word: fantasy. Obama doesn’t realize that the international situation is changing. America can no longer get its way with its junior “allies” by bullying. And Obama cannot rely on the empty promises and threats of feckless international confederacies either. The UN is especially ineffective in accomplishing its policy objectives.
And unfortunately, Obama and his cronies, for all their talk of international peace and diplomacy, have never had to negotiate from a position of growing weakness. They always thought other countries did America’s bidding because Obama’s diplomacy was so nuanced and persuasive. Not so. It turns out they got their way because people feared America’s military and economic power. That’s becoming less and less the case over time.
Karzai is probably just one of many minor players that will be switching allegiances as America’s real power declines and American diplomacy continues to bungle about in the incapable hands of ignorant self-absorbed idiots.