The Business Times

Critics weary of Obama's waiting strategy

The president faces growing criticism of his foreign policy even among allies of the White House and the Democratic Party

Published Mon, Feb 9, 2015 · 09:50 PM
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SINCE entering the White House, US President Barack Obama and members of his foreign policy team have been accentuating the contrast between his approach to global affairs and that pursued by former President George W Bush and his neoconservative advisors.

President Bush the Second broadbrushed the world with black and white colours where America and its allies represented the Good Guys while their adversaries epitomised Evil. Or as the hawkish Republican president declared in an address before Congress after the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States on Sept 9, 2001 - in which he proclaimed the launching of the global war against terrorism - "You're either with us or against us." And if you are against us, the United States may have no choice but to use the full force of its military against you. You've been warned!

In contrast to his predecessor in office, President Obama has been painting the international system with many shades of grey. If Mr Bush saw "Islamofascist" terrorists and leaders - ranging from Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein and the Iranian Ayatollahs - as the main threats confronting the United States and requiring an immediate and forceful American military response, President Obama decided to refrain from even using the term "war against terrorism" and from emphasising the Islamic identity of the terrorists and their benefactors and supporters.

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