Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and also the author of books such as The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming, etc.
He states early in this 2009 booklet, "Foreign-policy mistakes take time to mature; the serial tepid response to radical Islamic terrorism in the 1990s, for instance, did not bear bitter harvests until 2001." (Pg. 6-7) He suggests that with the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama in 2009, "the (Nobel) committee hit pay dirt, and, in a new first, awarded a prize for 'elegantly expressed' intentions rather than real achievement---in hopes of influencing ongoing American foreign policy." (Pg. 9)
He argues, "Israel now finds itself on its own in a way that it never was in its past relationship with the United States. Should there be another Mideast war, intifada or air strike on Iran, there is real doubt that the present administration would remain a reliable ally or, indeed, wish to continue as a supplier of key parts, military assistance and foreign aid." (Pg. 11)
He asserts, "In exasperation, the president thinks that he can either continue his inaction on Afghanistan and wait for a spontaneous Iraq-like American turnaround (a military solution he once scoffed at), or he must grant concessions to obtain an exit for American forces. That would entail inviting the Taliban to cogovern and would be tantamount to an American defeat, giving radical Islam a stunning military and psychological victory after their humiliating defeat and costly setback in Iraq." (Pg. 18-19)
He observes, "During the first year of the Obama administration, those previously deemed hostile to the United States earned more attention than staunch allies." (Pg. 31) He adds, "Concession and appeasement might defuse tensions in the short-term, but this creates bills that will come due in the future when emboldened belligerents take risks that they otherwise might not have if the United States had refused to wear a 'kick me' sign on the back of its foreign policy. It is no surprise that ... China, India, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan... either paraded new nuclear-weapons systems or announced long-range plans for stepped-up nuclear development." (Pg. 33)
He muses, "Bill Clinton began his first year with similar claims on a radical new foreign policy, one to be far more humane than George H.W. Bush's calculating realism. But after... the 1994 midterm correction, Clinton moved to the center at home and abroad and was reelected in 1996 for his efforts... By 2000, Clinton was not merely considered a centrist in domestic policy but was acknowledged abroad as more of a Harry Truman than a Jimmy Carter." (Pg. 39)
This brief book is a provocative but highly interesting analysis of the Obama administration's policies during the first year.