By Shane McGinley
Second term for President Obama could see shift in US foreign policy in Middle East
US President Barack Obama’s reelection will trigger a reawakening of US foreign policy in the Middle East, especially towards Iran, a leading Dubai-based defence analyst said, adding that a Mitt Romney victory would have been “dangerous” for global relations.
“Romney would have been more dangerous,” Theodore Karasik, Director for Research and Consultancy at INEGMA said, as the Republican presidential candidate conceded defeat to incumbent President Barack Obama.
“He was willing to call Russia and China enemies and you don’t do that. He wasn’t very diplomatic about things and he was weak in foreign affairs anyway,” he added.
During the presidential campaign Romney repeatedly claimed Russia was the US’s “number one geopolitical foe and they fight every cause for the world’s worst actors”.
If elected, he claimed the US would not be "bowing to the Kremlin", while in terms of China he also believed the US should take tougher stance.
"They're making some progress; they need to make more," he said in the presidential debates and vowed to label China a currency manipulator on his first day as president. "They have to understand we want to trade with them. We want a world that's stable. We like free enterprise, but you got to play by the rules."
With Obama winning a second term in the Oval Office, Karasik believes it will lead to a “new US policy towards the Middle East” and a tougher stance on issues such as Iran.
“In the last six months it has basically been in a coma and now I think [now] the election has been settled the Obama administration can begin to focus on key areas such as Syria and Iran.
“He has a fresh term and they can be a lot more assertive in both diplomacy and using the threat of war. The plan is to see how far the sanctions run as long as they can and use a military strike if the Iranians don’t capitulate in some form,” he added
His comments were echoed by William Cohen, former Secretary of Defense from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton, who said Obama will take a tougher stance on the civil war in Syria during his second term.
“My own view is he will take a tougher position with Syria now, I think he will try and work through the UAE, the Saudis and others to bring about a change and I don’t think the United States will continue to sit back and just let the [terror] take place,” he said in an interview with Arabian Business in Dubai.
“The pressure will be on him to do more… There will be an international effort made and I think the US will join in that in a more significant way,” he added.
Asked how he would have felt about a victory for Republicans and a President Mitt Romney, Cohen said he “would have had concerns about his foreign policy”.
I guess "useless" is better than "dangerous"
it's funny......the world wants the U.S. to act on international crises like Syria, yet when they do...they are always regarded as "butting into issues that aren't theirs" and "world policing". Can't win.
It's more like, if the US is butting into issues that aren't theirs, we would prefer it to be helping the Syrians and not destroying Iraq for no logical reason other than oil.
President Obama has not softened his tone in the Middle East because of criticism from the Republicans, it is because that is who he is. He has time and time again retreated from confrontation and his efforts in Iran have been too little and too late. I have a hard time understanding how Romney would have been dangerous. Dangerous is Iran having nuclear weapons and Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar wanting some nukes to protect themselves.
The case in point is the story reported in this publication about how gold was being flown by courier aboard commercial flights from Turkey to Iran. How on earth could this happen if there was vigilance in the sanctions against Iran?
No, "dangerous" is complacency and we have plenty of that.
Sorry Mick but you are a bit off on this one. In Iraq the majority of the population was not begging the US for help,intervention,occupation nor to invade their country and neither was Saddam at that time slaughtering his own people in the streets like Assad is now. Neither Gaddafi nor Saddam has done to his own people what Assad has done to his and we invaded in a heartbeat because they have oil under their sand while nothing is under the rocks and dirt in Syria so we turn a blind eye to the daily slaughtering that takes place there. Not sure how one can see someone slaughtering their own people and just stand there & watch.