Join the Federalist Society's International and National Security Law Practice Group for a Teleforum conference call with Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, in which he will discuss President Obama’s foreign policy and take questions from the audience. The call is scheduled for Monday, November 16 at 2 p.m. Dr. Hanson is a military historian, prolific columnist, acclaimed political essayist, and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Dr. Hanson gives a rundown of his take on the current foreign policy situation below.
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The mysteries surrounding the array of foreign policy disasters in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and our current hostility to Israel and the Gulf states, prompt questions as to whether Obama is incompetent, timid, or a conniving nihilist eager to reduce the Middle East to an anti-American wasteland.
At what point does the present chaos become apocalyptic? Will it be Putin’s new Russian Union? A Chinese Pacific? A Mediterranean of dinghies and rowboats? When flights are cancelled to Dubai? When Iranian rockets and terrorists battle Israeli F-16s? When Munich looks like Mogadishu? When Putin takes Tallinn?
There is a general explanation for the moral equivalence and anemic response from Washington: The Obama “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” administration is the first postmodern government in American history, and it has adopted almost all the general culture’s flawed relativist assumptions about human nature.
The Westernized world no longer feels threatened in any existential fashion as it often did in the past. Western culture in the 21st century assumes that it has reached a stage of psychological nirvana. This allows Westerners to believe that they no longer are bound by Neanderthal ideas like deterrence, balance of power, military alliances, and the use of force. Their wealth and technology assure them that they are free, then, to enter a brave new world of zero culpability, zero competition, and zero hostility that predicts perpetual tranquility and thus perpetual enjoyment of material bounty.
Who or what might eventually deter the territorial ambitions Iran, China, of Russian President Vladimir Putin? What will be the role of NATO? What will be the fate of former Eastern Bloc’s leaders like Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban who speak out against EU open border practices?