Americans Regard Obama’s Foreign Policy As Lackluster


Erica Wenig Contributor
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The depth of President Obama’s foreign policy malaise is finally seeping into the living rooms of everyday America.

A new poll by McClatchy-Marist says 56 percent of Americans are unhappy with Obama’s handling of the Islamic State threat. An equal amount thinks he generally mishandles foreign policy.

Obama campaigned on the promise of ending the war in Iraq in 2008. Troops withdrew in 2011, only for the Islamic State to storm into the vacuum, gaining territory, terrorizing virtually everyone and spreading videos of their atrocities via social media.

Now, IS controls territory stretching from nearby Aleppo in western Syria to just outside Baghdad, with aligned fighters in Libya, Egypt’s Sinai, and various other countries.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans support sending in ground troops, according to McClatchy. This comes after the announcement of the death of American hostage, Kayla Mueller, in early February. The 26 year-old aid worker was taken captive by the Islamic State in August 2013.

Videos of the executions of Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, and 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya were released by the Islamic State earlier this year. The gruesome murders were met by vows of retaliation by the Jordanian and Egyptian governments.

Fifty-six percent of Americans are also unhappy with Obama’s overall foreign policy, which includes perceived missteps on Iran, Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Negotiations with Iran, intended to constrain its nuclear capabilities in return for the eventual easing of sanctions, have sparked concerns about concessions to a state which has been considered a sponsor of terrorism since 1984.

As talks have progressed without input from Congress, a group of GOP senators released a letter to Tehran, reasserting their authority on the issue yesterday. (RELATED: Senate Republicans Remind Iran Not To Forget About Congress)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Congress about the threat of a nuclear Iran, in a controversial speech last week. Obama declined to meet with the leader of one of America’s closest allies, citing White House protocol and saying the speech ran too close to Israeli parliamentary elections.  

Russian-backed rebels’ aggression in eastern Ukraine has pressured the president to supply lethal weapons to the Western-backed Ukrainian government. Russia made a swipe at the territory it considers loyal to the Kremlin after Ukraine’s revolution last summer. Although Obama has imposed sanctions on the country, they haven’t quite deterred President Vladimir Putin.

As American troops prepare to withdraw from what will be a 15 year-long war in Afghanistan, concerns are rising over Islamic State influence in the country. A Guantanamo detainee, who became an Islamic State recruiter, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan in early February.

All told, the larger context of Obama’s faltering foreign policy is not lost on the rank-and-file voter.

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