See below — what caught my attention is the region by region, topic by topic analysis of the Obama Adminstration – not so much is suggestion the President should ‘clean house’ but rather what is happening around the world and yes, here at home.
Needed: A new team of rivals
By Fred Hiatt Editorial page editor July 13
Maybe it is time for a shake-up.
President Obama’s second-term staffing was always going to be a risk. He abandoned his first term’s team of rivals for a closer-knit team of loyalists. The bet was that he was assured enough in the job to no longer need the in-house challenge — and that smooth-running consensus would compensate for the loss.
The bet isn’t paying off. Overseas and at home, the administration seems besieged and befuddled. Obama is in danger of cementing an image of haplessness that would be hard to undo.
The administration was surprised when Russian President Vladimir Putin swallowed Crimea. It was caught flat-footed by the crumbling of Iraq and emergence of an al-Qaeda state. Now the region is “a cradle of violent extremism,” Obama’s attorney general said last week. But the president is uncertain how to respond.
Increasingly friends and foes around the world seem comfortable disrespecting the United States . In Egypt, a court sentenced journalists to prison hours after Secretary of State John F. Kerry left Cairo expressing confidence in the government’s commitment to democracy. U.S. ally Bahrain, home to the Navy’s 5th Fleet, expelled an assistant secretary of state. Days after Obama visited the Philippines to support rule of law in the South China Sea, China towed a massive oil rig into waters claimed by Vietnam and, Vietnamese officials said, intentionally rammed two of their ships.
Obama visited Berlin in 2008, promising to build bridges between continents that had “drifted apart” in the Bush era. Now Germans are furious at the United States for spying on them. Burma, which Obama recently claimed as a foreign-policy success, last week sentenced four journalists to 10 years of hard labor, one of many signs that reform there has stalled or worse. China barred a U.S. scholar from visiting and rounded up dissidents immediately before last week’s U.S.-China strategic and economic dialogue. Israel and Hamas are drifting toward war after Obama’s second failed effort to broker a peace accord.
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