U.S. Foreign Policy a Series of Unforced Errors


President Obama, as a fan and occasional player of basketball, should know about “unforced errors.” Those are the kind of thoughtless, bonehead plays where you lose the ball without a defender swatting it or toss a pass somewhere into the higher seats. If you want to review how this is done, I recommend re-watching the recent Clippers versus Rockets series – if you have the stomach for it.

Lately, America has become proficient in creating such unforced mistakes. At a time when the U.S. economy has been out-performing most competitors – resurging in everything from energy and manufacturing to tech – we appear to be slipping ever more into pessimism and fear of decline. Even the reliably pro-Obama New York Times conveys concerns of seeing the U.S. in a tailspin, losing influence in a world that now increasingly looks to authoritarian regimes, such as China and Russia, for leadership and support.

The Great Unforced Error

You can’t blame Obama for the biggest of all the unforced errors, the disastrous invasion of Iraq. Rather than the “mother of all battles,” in Saddam Hussein’s phrase, it turned out to be the mother of all mistakes. In the end, at great human and financial expense, we turned a country run by a weakened, slightly buggy dictator into a nest of jihadi fanatics fighting Iran’s allies for control of the country. Americans have to watch as Iranian commanders direct the battles on the ground and take the bulk of the credit for successes.

Read the entire piece at the Orange County Register.

Joel Kotkin is executive editor of NewGeography.com and Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University, and a member of the editorial board of the Orange County Register. He is also executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His newest book, The New Class Conflict is now available at Amazon and Telos Press. He is also author of The City: A Global History and The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050.  He lives in Los Angeles, CA.