The current thinking among many foreign policy experts, including those with particular expertise in Iranian relations, seems to be that the new foreign policy alignment in the Obama administration–State, Defense, CIA–combined with the instincts of the President and Vice President, will have the most pro-engagement bias since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. This comes into play while Iran’s leader, Kamainei, totally rejects bi-lateral engagement. This can’t be good and might be very dangerous.
This also comes at a moment in which we don’t have the will to finish the job in Afghanistan and we receive the news that Obama had vetoed the recommendation of his former top three security advisors to arm the rebels in Syria. The latter decision further highlights the weakness of his three critical security team appointments–Kerry, Hagel, and Brennan–none of whom has the standing or gravitas of their predecessors and are not likely to present Obama with views he doesn’t want to hear.
Contrary to the views of Pat Buchanan, Iran is an apocalyptic regime that cannot be contained or engaged as with the Soviet Union in the Cold War. And despite the President’s election year pronouncements, Al Qaeda is alive and well and actively seeking out destruction of American interests. This is a dangerous world and the U. S. remains the indispensable power, whether we like it or not. These national security appointments, particularly Hagel at Defense, send the wrong message to our friends and our enemies. What we need is moral clarity in foreign policy; what we have is reduction in means and in will, almost back to the McGovern “come home America” days of 1972. This attitude coupled with the sequestration cuts do not bode well for American security interests, much less our leadership, which is indispensable to the free world.