From Victor Davis Hanson:
Once you see what he is trying to accomplish, it all makes sense.
The Wise People of American foreign policy — Madeleine Albright, General Jack Keane, Henry Kissinger, General James Mattis, George Shultz, and others — recently testified before Congress. Their candid and insightful collective message dovetailed with the worries of many former Obama-administration officials, such as one-time defense secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, as well as a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Their consensus is that the U.S. is drifting, and with it the world at large: The Obama administration has not formulated a consistent strategy to cope with the advance of second-generation Islamic terrorism. It is confused by the state upheavals in the Middle East. It is surprised by the aggression of Putin’s Russia and the ascendance of an autocratic China. Our allies in Europe, much of democratic Asia, and Israel all worry that the U.S. is rudderless, as it slashes its military budget and withdraws from prior commitments.
While I think the symptomology of an ailing, herky-jerky United States is correct, the cause of such malaise is left unspoken. The Obama team — with its foreign policy formulated by President Obama himself, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, White House consigliere Valerie Jarrett, Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and present Secretary of State John Kerry — is not in fact befuddled by the existing world. Instead, it is intent on changing it into something quite different from what it is.
So far from being chaotic, current U.S. foreign policy is consistent, logical, and based on four pillars of belief.
1. Readjustments in the global order are long overdue.
The exceptional postwar influence of the United States did not result in a fair and just world and is thus in need of major recalibration. The use of military force abroad in recent decades has almost always been mistaken, proving a waste of lives and money, as it either has promoted the status quo rather than aiding the deserving and needy, or has promoted only the interests of those who mouth U.S. platitudes and falsely claim they are legitimate. The role of an all-powerful United States is not always beneficial, as it sets global norms according to our privileged tastes. For America to quietly recede and give other nations a chance to direct their own affairs and become global actors would be far more equitable, leading to a world that far better represents heretofore unrepresented billions of people. Such transformation is always messy; occasional violence and unrest are the price of equitable readjustments. Change is always misinterpreted and mischaracterized by reactionaries whose interests abroad are imperiled by any progress that leads to greater equality and fairness and to the end of unwarranted hierarchy and privilege.
Read more: VictorHanson.com