Gun Boat Diplomacy, is it for real?
It appears that the Obama administration has toughened its stance with respect to North Korea. After being threatened with a nuclear response to the naval exercises being conducted by South Korea and the US Navy, Secretaries Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates are condemning North Korea for provocative and belligerent behavior. Well, lo and behold, has Obama grown a spine and is now willing to confront America's enemies. One would think so, based on the Administration's statements.
Has Obama finally taken a sip of the Kool-Aid and is now beginning to believe that kowtowing and bowing doesn't work as the primary style of conducting foreign policy? In the last 18 months, Obama has shown virtually no backbone when addressing or relating to those countries and entities which are widely seen as unfriendly to the US. On the other hand, he has demonstrated that he can be downright unfriendly to long standing allies of this country, namely the United Kingdom and Israel. Does Obama now believe that we should be talking softly but carrying a big stick? The based on the outward signs of the diplomacy currently being set forth by the US toward North Korea, it would seem that a sea change has or is taking place.
I think not. North Korea has been in the news for the last several days. North Korea's saber-rattling and threatening of a nuclear response has been reported across the board. What has Obama been doing? He's talking about change that hasn't yet been effected, how the heaving lifting has been done and how we are now positioned for recovery and nary a word about North Korea. His oratory is designed to energize his base rather than communicate a new, stauncher foreign policy or inform US citizens that he is on the case.
Actually, what I think has happened, and is happening, is that Secretaries Clinton and Gates have jumped into a vacuum created by the absence of any clear direction provided by the Commander-in Chief. In other words, someone has to do it, if Obama can't or won't. I believe Obama is completely devoid of any experience, skill or character which provide a leadership role in dealing with a belligerent state. It is not clear whether the secretaries are off the reservation, so to speak, but they seem to be operating completely independent of Obama. Maybe, we should be grateful that Obama avoiding this issue. If it were otherwise, it would probably end up being another debacle. Also, a scenario worth consideration is that Obama wants to distance himself from this situation in such a manner as to allow him the ability to blame the secretaries if something goes wrong or North Korea actually attacks.
Suffice to say, Obama's primary responsibility is to be commander-in-chief. In this instance he neither chief of anything nor in command of the situation.