The last two Presidents have executed foreign policy strategies that have been schizophrenic at worst, and ambiguous at best.
The US invasion of Iraq and the “no look” withdrawal has created a power vacuum in that region. One can easily argue that US policy in Iraq had a hand in creating civil war in both Iraq and Syria. And let’s not forget that it also made ISIS vogue in the Middle East.
US Foreign policy strategy should not be some secret sticky note tucked away in Patrick Kennedy’s (Under Secretary of Management) office safe at the Department of State, it should be well-known to American citizens and the world at large. For a plan to work, it has to be well-known by everyone for it to succeed. This is something that has been learned in the blood of lost teammates in the Special Operations community.
The fact that US foreign policy isn’t known or understood is a massive problem. I’ve asked members of Congress and high ranking bureaucrats, “What’s our strategy?” and I often got a look that was very similar to a dog staring at a ceiling fan.
American foreign policy strategies in a post 9/11 world have been opaque at best, and recently the unhinged plan is playing out on the world stage in countries like Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ukraine.
If you ask an average American on the street what our strategy is to defeat al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, or any other faction of radical Islam, it is likely that you will get different answers from everyone.