Should We Applaud Obama’s Diplomacy?

Many supporters of Obama’s approach to diplomacy are applauding the president for the careful diplomacy that got China and Russia on board for the latest U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Iran. Rather than show the strength of Obama’s diplomacy, however, it appears to show its weakness. In order to win Russia’s support, for instance, Obama gave the Kremlin concessions involving Georgia, Poland, and the Czech Republic, and also gave Tehran months more to enrich; the Islamic Republic now has enough low-enriched uranium to make sufficient high-enriched uranium for two bombs.

While George W. Bush is lambasted in many quarters for his allegedly Manichean attitudes toward diplomacy, the fact of the matter is that Bush achieved unanimity several times on the Security Council on the Iran issue at far less cost.

Sure, all of the previous U.N. Security Council resolutions were weak: It is near impossible to get a strong, biting resolution out of the Security Council. But it is also clear that this latest resolution won’t be enough. So, with Obama already giving up so many U.S. chits, what do we have left to bargain with as we move forward?

Michael Rubin — Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East ...

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