44's new subtle approach to friends, frenemies and enemies is still in it's infancy - way too early to offer a final grade.
"The first days -- literally -- of the administration were defined by sweeping pledges to end torture, close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, and revise the U.S. approach to terrorism detentions. But that early promise is over."
"Still, if there is an example of how "engagement based on mutual interests and mutual respect" has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations, it's Pakistan. For years, intelligence professionals and military officers warned that the Afghanistan War could not be successfully concluded while the Pakistani government allowed the Afghan Taliban leadership to operate from its territory, providing resources, guerrillas, and strategic direction for its forces across the border.
"And for just as long, the Bush administration issued directives to the Pakistani military that the Pakistanis promptly ignored. Once Obama came into office, his national-security team absorbed Pakistani complaints that U.S. policy was limited merely to terrorism. Obama opened the aperture, pushing Congress to pass a $7.5 billion, five-year aid package for Pakistani governance and civil society, along with a new military aid package for counterinsurgency support.
"The administration stopped publicly criticizing Pakistani lassitude on counterterrorism and gave it two major pieces of additional support: CIA drones began targeting the leaders of Pakistan's own Taliban, who had killed and terrorized hundreds of Pakistanis, and pressed India to return to diplomatic dialogue.
Actually - that's about as good as it gets for 44's 18 month review - the rest is - to use an ancient corrupted Hillbilly Phrase - Half Asset.
"Engagement in and of itself is not a worthless strategy. The key to engagement is deploying it effectively, using leverage, and making clear to the adversary you are negotiating with that in addition to backchannel messages and high-level diplomatic visits, you have sticks at your disposal as well. This, however, is not the Obama style, at least when it comes to foreign policy."
And that may explain Rocket Rich Gay Free Persia's Preacher Command's Hand Picked Pres - the fiery little Revo Guarder and his recent appreciation for 44's FoPo skill set:
"American materialist politicians, whenever they are beaten by logic, immediately resort to their weapons like cowboys
"Mr. Obama, you are a newcomer (to politics). Wait until your sweat dries and get some experience. Be careful not to read just any paper put in front of you or repeat any statement recommended"
"Mr. Obama is under the pressure of capitalists and the Zionists. American officials bigger than you, more bullying than you, couldn't do a damn thing, let alone you.
Pic "Using all our assets" with Lindsay