President Obama’s foreign policy achievements continue to roll in.
The Middle East
The New York Times reported (August 16, 2016) that Russia is launching bombers bound for Syria from an Iranian Air Force base. This is the first time foreign military forces have operated from Iran since WWII. Russia and Iran are supporting Syria’s Assad.
The Middle East Peace Process
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to meet and re-launch the Mid East peace process. The meeting is being hosted by Vladimir Putin and will take place in Moscow.
The Obama Administration has paid Iran $1.7 Billion, entirely in cash denominated in Euros, Swiss Francs and other non-dollar currencies. The Obama Administration continues to insist that its behavior is on the up and up. The money, they argue, was owed to Iran from an arms deal that was never completed in the 1970s. It has not explained why it was so important to supply the world’s leading sponsor of state terrorism with suitcases full of cash, denominated in non U.S. dollar currencies.
Iran returned the favor by escalating its harassment of U.S. Navy ships on the high seas. According to CNN, US Army Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of US Central Command, last week called the Iranian conduct “concerning.”
China and the G-20 Conference
China went out of its way to snub President Obama when it “forgot” to bring stairs for Obama to exit Air Force One. They didn’t bring out a red carpet either.
Meanwhile, North Korea claimed success in another nuclear test. The South Korean Defense Ministry estimated that the explosive yield was about 10 kilotons, compared to the less than 1-kiloton yield of its first test in 2006. North Korea has also launched a series of ballistic missiles, including one launched from a submarine last month.
South Korea has already agreed to deploy an anti-missile system known as the Terminal High Altitude Defense (THAD) system as protection against North Korea. China has reiterated its opposition to the move, suggesting that their North Korean friends may view it as a provocation.
Hillary Clinton, Obama’s first Secretary of State, promises more of the same.